On September 28, the U.S. Congress handed President Barack Obama his first veto override while in office. The emotional and political potency of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) was illustrated by the lopsided vote: Only one senator and 77 members of the House of Representatives opposed the bill. The law allows Americans to sue Saudi Arabia and its officials for alleged complicity in the 9/11 terrorist attacks by dispensing with the international legal convention of sovereign immunity. But it could also result in the U.S. government and officials facing endless lawsuits and prosecutions around the world. Immediately after it passed, lawmakers began expressing regret and discussing the need for some remedy. AGSIW hosted a panel discussion examining JASTA and its various impacts, as well as the international response and implications for U.S.-Saudi relations.
David Frum, senior editor at The Atlantic
Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University
Fahad Nazer, non-resident fellow at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington
Hussein Ibish, senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington (Moderator)
Article 8 of Saudi Arabia’s citizenship law, in theory, makes it easier for Saudi women married to foreigners to transmit citizenship to their children, but implementation will be key in assessing impact of the measure on broader gender reform efforts.
China may be able to build on its breakthrough with more ambitious Gulf diplomacy, but, in the meantime, it appears Saudi Arabia and Iran are forging ahead on their own.
Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.