Trump, the CIA, and our disorienting Iranian policy ride


Understanding President Donald J. Trump’s position on Iran over the two remaining months until the November election is no feat for the fainthearted. Depending on the source to which one subscribes, Trump is either provoking conflict with Iran or working a secret back channel to secure a deal, both variables purportedly intended to support his election prospects. So which is it? Or can it be both? Non-Resident Scholar Douglas London takes a closer look in a new piece for MEI.


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MEI's 73rd Annual Awards Gala

Online Broadcast on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 11am - 12pm EST

This year's virtual Gala will feature leaders in the fight against Covid-19 and salute the efforts of regional NGOs and organizations working to help communities better address the challenges posed by the pandemic. Tickets are now available!

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Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 - 2020

Virtual Exhibition Now Open

Lebanon Then and Now is an immersive 360° exhibit at the MEI Art Gallery featuring the works of 17 of Lebanon’s most exciting art and documentary photographers. Originally planned as a physical exhibit, it has been reimagined as a virtual show, on view from July 13 to September 25, 2020.

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Photo: "The Next Day," by Blanche Eid, 2019 (courtesy of the artist)

Expanding Knowledge, Narrowing Divides

MEI fosters greater understanding of the Middle East through non-partisan policy analysis, educational services, and promotion of regional arts and culture.


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MEI Art Gallery Closed Temporarily

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the MEI Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice.

Please visit the Gallery's webpage for virtual exhibitions, webinars, and publications on the region's vibrant and resilient arts scene.

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Led by renowned scholars and regional experts, MEI's policy research programs produce original analysis, convene roundtables and public events, and work to advance understanding of the complexities of regional policy.

Countering Terrorism & Extremism

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Gulf Affairs

Enhancing understanding of the issues facing the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council who are key political, security, and economic partners for the United States.

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Program on Conflict Resolution and Track II Dialogues

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Update from MEI

Despite the physical closure of MEI’s offices on N St. until further notice, MEI’s staff and experts are teleworking and busier than ever. Given our mission to educate and inform, coupled with the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on life in the Middle East, MEI remains committed to providing our readers, viewers and supporters with unique insights, policy analysis and stories of creativity and hope from the region.

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What We Do

We seek to promote knowledge of the Middle East in America and strengthen understanding of the United States by the peoples and governments of the region. We believe pursuit of this goal is integral to building a world of peace and stability, in which the people of our two regions value our shared humanity.


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Our international conflict resolution dialogues bring together civil society and political leaders to achieve impact through cooperation both in and outside of the region.