Middle East Lobbying:
The Influence Game


Select a country/region to see their lobbying history.


Welcome to Al-Monitor's series on Middle Eastern powers and their efforts to influence US policy.

Key findings:

  • Turkey spent more money than ever last year trying to sell Washington on its crackdown on suspected coup plotters and their alleged allies. All it has to show for is a $5.6 million hole in its wallet and unprecedented US sanctions.
  • Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar lobbied each other to a costly standstill in the battle for perception in the year-old Gulf crisis, spending more than $50 million to influence American policymakers.
  • Five Middle East countries have hired top law firms to battle President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, so far to no avail.



Those are some of the top stories from our latest annual update to Al-Monitor’s lobbying series. But it’s also full of insights and revelations that help make sense of US relations with the Middle East, from deep disagreements among Iranian-Americans over the US decision to pull out of the nuclear deal to the growing partisan divide over US policy on Israel.

The series, which won an Online Journalism Award for Explanatory Reporting, summarizes hundreds of lobbying and financial records to bring you the most comprehensive resource available on Middle East lobbying in Washington. The series reveals the who, the why — and the how much — discreetly guiding all aspects of foreign policy, from weapons contracts and foreign aid to trade deals and financial sanctions. And new this year, the team will be updating the latest lobbying contracts and registrations every Friday.

All that information would be pretty useless, however, without some way to measure foreign nations' success at getting what they want. That's why we've also pored over State Department budgets, Pentagon arms deals and more to reveal the quantifiable ups and downs in US bilateral relations beyond the political spin and diplomatic platitudes. Our handy navigation toolbar lets you effortlessly explore all the latest lobbying contracts, US aid budgets and arms deals.

And while numbers really can tell a story, it wouldn't be complete without Al-Monitor’s authoritative reporting and exclusive interviews with some of the key diplomats driving the conversation in Washington. So just click on any of the countries above to find out just who’s helping shape US policy in the Middle East.

You can access all of the current data as well as the past years’ series by registering with your email address. Registration also gives you access to all the Al-Monitor archives — over 20,000 stories in all. Click here to register now.







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