World Affairs

Monday, May 21 at 2:00 pm

Fallout from the Iran Nuclear Deal and Untangling the Crisis in Yemen

On May 8, 2018, President Trump announced that the United States was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, dismantling Obama’s signature foreign policy agreement. Robert Malley, president and CEO of the International Crisis Group and one of the US negotiators who helped forge the deal in 2015, offers his insight into what Trump's withdrawal means for US-Middle East relations. Malley also zooms out on the region to discuss how complex conflicts like the war in Yemen and the Rohingya crisis are impacting international affairs more broadly.

The civil war in Yemen has created the worst humanitarian crisis in over 50 years, according to the United Nations. Over 22 million people, or 75 percent of the country’s population, are in need of assistance including at least 8 million people at risk of famine. The country continues to battle outbreaks of cholera while civilian and public infrastructure is being destroyed. Yet, for the most part, the Yemeni conflict has remained out of the headlines.

The conflict began in late 2014 when the Houthis, the Zaidi Shia group, took control of the capital and much of the north, backed by former President Saleh. Then current President Hadi and his cabinet fled to Saudi Arabia in early 2015 and a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against the Houthis. Three years later the conflict has displaced millions of people from their homes and resulted in the deaths of thousands of unarmed civilians. To complicate the situation further, the Saudi-led coalition is made up of numerous international stakeholders including the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Sudan all of which aid internal factions throughout the country, while Iran provides support to the Houthis. The United States and the United Kingdom have also been providing key intelligence and logistical support to the coalition. How has this conflict become so protracted and so complex in one of the poorest countries in the Middle East? Why are so many international actors involved in Yemen? What’s at stake for external actors and for those living in the country? Is there a path to peace?

Robert Malley
President & CEO, International Crisis Group

Jane Wales
CEO, World Affairs and Global Philanthropy Forum; Vice President, The Aspen Institute

To listen to the audio of “Fallout from the Iran Nuclear Deal and Untangling the Crisis in Yemen” on World Affairs online, please click HERE.