Feb 2

Past Event

Iran and Syria: A Tale of Two Crises

Event Materials



  • Syrian Civil War a Regional Threat

    Kenneth Pollack: Syria is engaged in a civil war which could lead to civil wars in neighboring countries, which is turn could lead to regional war; and a regional war would likely include Iraq, an outcome we don’t want to see.

    Kenneth M. Pollack

  • Iranians Feel Under Siege

    Suzanne Maloney: Iranians feel under siege and the sanctions imposed on them could lead Iran to retaliate. The most likely target of retaliation would be Iraq.

    Suzanne Maloney

  • New Media and the Revolution

    Michael Doran: New media played an important role in the Arab Spring revolutions but it’s important to note that these tools have been most effective in those countries where there were already some freedoms.

    Michael Doran

  • UN Action to End Syrian Regime May Fail

    Andrew Tabler, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy: In the face of a UN resolution intended to prompt Syrian President Assad to step aside, there’s a strong possibility the regime will hold on and violence in the country will escalate.


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A year after the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt ushered in the Arab awakening, the United States still faces the difficult task of forging a new strategy for a new Middle East. While regimes in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya eventually fell, the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad has clung to power with grim resolution. The regime has slaughtered its people and ignored pressure from domestic, regional and international actors. Meanwhile, Iran has viewed the Arab Spring as a mixture of opportunity and threat, all the while resisting fierce international demands to end its nuclear enrichment program. In recent weeks, the potential for escalation with one or both of these countries has captured the headlines while the relationship between them has largely been left to the back pages.

On February 2, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion to assess the ongoing crises with Syria and Iran, the potential for escalation, and America’s role in the situation. Panelists included Saban Center Senior Fellows Suzanne Maloney and Michael Doran, as well as Andrew Tabler, the next generation fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Brookings Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.

After the program, panelists took audience questions.

Event Agenda


February 2, 2012

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105