Gary Grappo

Chairman
Gary Grappo is a former US ambassador and a distinguished fellow at the Center for Middle East Studies at the Korbel School for International Studies, University of Denver. He possesses nearly 40 years of diplomatic and public policy experience in a variety of public, private and nonprofit endeavors. As a career member of the Senior Foreign Service of the US Department of State, he served as Envoy and Head of Mission of the Office of the Quartet Representative, the Honorable Mr. Tony Blair, in Jerusalem. Grappo held a number of senior positions in the US State Department, including Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the US Embassy in Baghdad; US Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman; and Charge d’Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From 2011-13, he was President and CEO of The Keystone Center. He currently serves as CEO of Equilibrium International Consulting, providing analysis and policy guidance on foreign affairs to businesses, institutions and the media. Grappo is chairman of the Board of Directors at Fair Observer.

For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim

Jun 18, 2019

After last week’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman, Tehran will need to undertake a sober assessment of its options, which are few, and its prospects, which only get worse. Last week’s attacks on two oil tankers outside the Strait of Hormuz show that for now Tehran is choosing from a very limited playbook … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

The Mecca Summits: Is Something Going On?

Jun 01, 2019

For three days starting May 30, Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz hosts Arab and Muslim leaders of countries comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab League and Organization of the Islamic Conference. The gathering was ostensibly called to address the region’s many issues, inter alia, Iran, Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including Washington’s much … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

The End of the Iran Nuclear Deal

May 10, 2019

Iran’s economy is set to plunge and the much strained JCPOA with it. But the Islamic Republic will likely remain defiant. Iran’s announcement on May 8 that it will “partially” withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) — aka the Iran nuclear deal concluded in 2015 between the Iranians and the P5+1 group … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

Pompeo Attempts US Reset in the Middle East

Jan 16, 2019

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to the Middle East summed up America’s limited policy vision for the region. Nearly a year after his predecessor embarked on a similar mission, on January 15 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo concluded a tour of the Middle East that included stops in Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, the … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

James Mattis: Who Will Keep Trump in Check Now?

Dec 23, 2018

Can America’s democratic institutions — Congress, courts and the media — constrain Donald Trump and ensure the survival and continued prosperity of the world’s oldest democracy? Rational observers, US allies and even America’s adversaries are left to wonder where President Donald Trump’s erratic foreign policies and unpredictable decision-making will now lead after the departure of … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

Are Saudi Arabia and MBS Becoming a Liability for the White House?

Dec 18, 2018

It would be hard to find the leader of any close American ally in recent history with a cloud over his head as the one over Mohammed bin Salman today. The December 14 Senate votes to end US military aid for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen and to condemn Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

Mohammed bin Salman: Persona Non Grata at G-20 Summit

Dec 04, 2018

After the G-20 summit, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman can return home secure in the knowledge that his and his country’s standing in the world remain largely unaffected. All eyes were on Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, at last week’s G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was his … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

Are US Sanctions Losing their Clout?

Nov 14, 2018

Washington’s frequent use of economic sanctions for all matter of offenses could end up diminishing their utility over the long term and empowering bad actors. America’s latest round of sanctions on Iran’s primary hard currency earner will be felt not only by the Iranian government, but also by Iranian people. Previous sanctions, imposed after Washington … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

The US Is in Unchartered Territory with Saudi Arabia

Oct 18, 2018

The US must lead with a principled position following Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination, but this will require a type of diplomacy not yet seen in this administration. Information about the shocking and brazen torture and execution of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi spills out now with stomach-churning regularity. All indications point to Saudi Arabia’s top leadership’s culpability. … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

The Tehran Summit Hasn’t Done Much for Syria

Sep 13, 2018

The Tehran summit may eventually bring about an end to the fighting as we’ve known it, but not the peace desired by the people of Syria. Last week’s gathering in Tehran of the presidents of Russia, Iran and Turkey produced predictable happy talk, but offered little hope for Syrians now deep into their devastating seven-year … Continue reading "For Iran, Options Are Few and Prospects Are Grim"

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