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Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

CrisisWatch Gulf and Arabian Peninsula

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, a tool designed to help decision-makers prevent deadly violence by keeping them up-to-date with developments in over 80 conflicts and crises, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace.

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Trends for Last Month March 2020

Deteriorated Situations

IranIraqSaudi ArabiaYemen

Improved Situations

none

Outlook for This Month April 2020

Conflict Risk Alerts

Yemen

Resolution Opportunities

Yemen

Contributor

President & CEO
Rob_Malley

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley warns of the potential damage that the COVID-19 pandemic could inflict upon the international humanitarian and conflict management systems.

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

1 Apr 2020
[The Trump administration] think[s] that the timeline for bringing Iran to its knees has shortened because of the coronavirus. New York Times

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
30 Mar 2020
If the United States is forced out of Iraq in an ugly, contentious fashion, it could poison the bilateral relationship. (Quoted with Maria Fantappie) War on the Rocks

Sam Heller

Adviser, Non-state Armed Groups
18 Mar 2020
[The sanctions] are a testament to this administration's doctrinal belief in the effectiveness of sanctions to bring Iran to its knees. Middle East Eye

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
15 Mar 2020
Now [Yemen's] fate is linked to a much bigger picture in a three-dimensional chess game. The Guardian

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
12 Mar 2020
The Iranian leadership knows that if it curbs the [International Atomic Energy Agency’s] inspections, it will lose the support of all the remaining parties to the JCPOA. Bloomberg

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
5 Mar 2020
The coronavirus has basically done what the Trump administration’s sanctions failed to do: effectively completely isolated Iran. South China Morning Post

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran

Latest Updates

Flattening the Curve of U.S.-Iran Tensions

COVID-19 is ravaging Iran, due to government mismanagement exacerbated by the effects of U.S. sanctions. Instead of pointing fingers at each other, and again risking heightened military confrontation, Tehran and Washington should pursue humanitarian diplomacy aimed at containing the virus and releasing detainees.

Also available in فارسی

A Coronavirus Ceasefire Offers a Way Out for War-torn Yemen

The UN has called for a freeze in fighting in Yemen to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak and preserve an opportunity to end the war. The Huthis, Yemeni government, other key armed actors and Saudi Arabia have all agreed. They should immediately carry out the proposal.

Also available in العربية

The Coronavirus Crisis is a Diplomatic Opportunity for the United States and Iran

Washington and Tehran could use the public health emergency to show goodwill, dial down tensions while saving face, and avoid a dangerous confrontation.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Arab Protests: A Wicked Dance Between Rulers and Subjects

A new wave of popular protests has jolted an already deeply unsettled Arab world. Nine years ago, uprisings across the region signalled a rejection of corrupt autocratic rule that failed to deliver jobs, basic services and reliable infrastructure. Yet regime repression and the protests’ lack of organisation, leadership and unified vision thwarted hopes of a new order. As suddenly as the uprisings erupted, as quickly they descended into violence. What followed was either brutal civil war or regime retrenchment. Tunisia stands as the sole, still fragile, exception.

Originally published in Valdai Club

A Way Out of the U.S.-Iranian Impasse

U.S.-Iranian clashes have pushed the JCPOA to the brink of collapse. In this excerpt from our Watch List 2020 for European policymakers, Crisis Group urges the EU and its member states to use their economic and diplomatic power to keep Iran in compliance with the JCPOA and prevent Iraq from being sucked further into the conflict.

Our People

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Ali Vaez

Project Director, Iran
AliVaez

Naysan Rafati

Analyst, Iran

Peter Salisbury

Senior Analyst, Yemen
peterjsalisbury

Elham Fakhro

Senior Analyst, Gulf States
elhamfakhro