Crisis in the Gulf

Tehran’s decision to stop compliance with the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and the United States “maximum pressure” campaign to isolate Iran and force it to the negotiating table for a new deal have sent tensions spiraling in the Gulf. Throughout 2019, drone attacks and ship seizures in the Strait of Hormuz have threatened to destabilize the region and trigger wider conflict. Read all the latest Atlantic Council work on the crisis in the Gulf and wider US-Iranian tensions.

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Featured commentary & analysis

Featured in-depth research & reports


Past events

Mon, Jul 29, 2019

Avenues for managing the escalating crisis in the Gulf

On July 30, the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security and the Arabia Foundation held a discussion unpacking the recent pattern of escalation with Iran in the Gulf, the US and regional policy response, and what comes next.


Thu, May 30, 2019

Russia’s resurgence in the Middle East: How does US policy meet the challenge?

Atlantic Council Middle East Programs Director William Wechsler gave introductory remarks before the keynote address by Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Kathryn Wheelbarger.


Fri, Apr 26, 2019

My star in the sky: Movie screening and reception

The film depicts a story of survival, friendship, and love between two child soldiers abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) during the conflict between Uganda and Sudan.



Fri, Jul 19, 2019

US-Iran tensions reignite following another drone incident

As the number of attacks and close calls continues to climb in the volatile region, risks of wider conflict are mounting and soon could be difficult for all sides to control.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Drones Iran

Thu, Jun 20, 2019

Iran’s attack on US drone escalates tensions in the Gulf

Barbara Slavin believes the string of incidents over the last several weeks means “it is time for diplomats to meet to discuss ways of getting out of this mess.”

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Drones Iran

Mon, Jun 17, 2019

Is the Iran nuclear deal on its last legs?

Matthew Kroenig, deputy director of the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security said that the decision “means Iran will begin moving closer to a nuclear weapons capability,” which—while expected— “is still highly concerning.”

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Iran Nuclear Nonproliferation

Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Only US concessions can bring Iran to the negotiating table

Iranian supreme leader rebuffs Japanese prime minister’s attempt at mediation.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Iran Nuclear Nonproliferation

Fri, May 17, 2019

Iraq: In the crossfire of a potential US-Iran conflict?

If a new conflict erupts in the region, it will complicate the situation for Iraq in some unimaginable ways, even if Iraq is not directly involved.

New Atlanticist by Abbas Kadhim

Iran Iraq

Tue, May 14, 2019

Attacks on Saudi oil stations raise tensions in volatile Gulf

Drones purportedly flown by Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked Saudi oil pumping stations on May 14, creating a new flash point in a region already on edge over rising tensions between the United States and Iran.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Conflict Energy Markets & Governance

Thu, May 2, 2019

Israeli-Gulf relations: Will the détente deepen or dry up?

On April 25, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that an Israeli delegation will take part in next year’s World Expo, hosted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Dubai. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, fresh off his victory in the April 9 elections, tweeted his approval of Israel’s participation, which he called “another expression of Israel’s rising status in the world and the region.”

MENASource by

Israel The Gulf

Tue, Apr 9, 2019

Dagres Quoted in The Washington Post on the designation of Iran’s Elite Revolutionary Guard as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

Read the full article here

In the News by Holly Dagres


Tue, Apr 9, 2019

Dagres Joins BBC to Discuss US Labels Iranian Military Unit as Terrorists

Listen to the full discussion here

In the News by Holly Dagres


Thu, Mar 21, 2019

Dagres Quoted in Middle East Eye on Smuggling Along the Iran-Pakistan Border

Read the full article here

In the News by Holly Dagres

Iran Pakistan