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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring talk and analysis on U.S. foreign policy, contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East, and the arts and culture of region. It is produced by the Middle East Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

May 31, 2018

Several countries have engaged in a flurry of diplomatic moves in recent days to prevent combat between Israeli and Iranian forces in southern Syria from escalating into full-scale war. MEI senior fellows Robert Ford and Charles Lister join host Paul Salem to discuss these moves and the state of the Syrian conflict.

May 24, 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened Iran with the “strongest sanctions in history” following the U.S. exit from the nuclear deal and outlined twelve demands as conditions for striking a new treaty between the two countries. MEI’s Rauf Mammadov and Ahmad Majidyar join Paul Salem to discuss the implications of...

May 17, 2018

Amb. Lukman Faily, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States from 2013-2016, and Randa Slim, director of MEI’s program on Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues, join host Paul Salem to analyze the results of Iraq’s parliamentary elections and their implications for Iraq, the region, and U.S. policy going forward.

May 11, 2018

In a region beset with conflicts, Oman has served as a valued intermediary in foreign relations, including as a facilitator in U.S.-Iranian contacts that led to the Iran nuclear deal. How is it managing its delicate diplomatic balancing act as it works to mediate the Yemen civil war and the dispute between Qatar and...

May 11, 2018

Alex Vatanka and Gerald Feierstein join host Paul Salem to discuss reactions in the region and around the world to Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and restore sanctions on Iran.