On May 16, AGSIW Senior Resident Scholar Hussein Ibish spoke at a conference hosted by the Emirates Policy Center in Abu Dhabi. Ibish discussed the internal and external elements influencing the current U.S. strategic assessment of the Middle East. Other speakers included Barry Pavel of the Atlantic Council, Ebtesam Al Ketbi of the EPC, Mohammed bin Huwaiden of the United Arab Emirates University, Zaid Eyadat of the Human Rights Institute, and Bilal Saab of the Atlantic Council.
Ibish also spoke at the Second Strategic Gulf Conference in Manama on May 24-25, hosted by Bahrain-based think tank DERASAT. Ibish discussed how the Iran deal affects strategic relations in the Gulf region by reviewing innovations in U.S. Middle East policy under President Barack Obama and explaining U.S. motivations for entering into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran. He concluded that, despite widespread concerns, the long term impact of the nuclear agreement may strengthen the strategic alliance between the United States and the Gulf Arab states rather than enhancing Iran’s strategic position in any major way.