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Iraq, Iran & the Gulf

Iraq’s Jihadi Jack-in-the-Box

Middle East Briefing N°38, 20 June 2014

A man displays an Iraqi army jacket near burnt vehicles belonging to Iraqi security forces at a checkpoint in east Mosul, one day after radical Sunni Muslim insurgents seized control of the city, June 11, 2014. The jihadi surge is the tragic, violent outcome of steadily deteriorating political dynamics. Instead of a rash military intervention and unconditional support for the Iraqi government, pressure is needed to reverse sectarian polarisation and a disastrous record of governance.

Recent Reports

Iraq’s Jihadi Jack-in-the-Box, Middle East Briefing N°38, 20 Jun 2014

The jihadi surge is the tragic, violent outcome of steadily deteriorating political dynamics. Instead of a rash military intervention and unconditional support for the Iraqi government, pressure is needed to reverse sectarian polarisation and a disastrous record of governance.

The Huthis: From Saada to Sanaa, Middle East Report N°154, 10 Jun 2014

Continued fighting between Huthis and their various opponents could lead to a major conflagration, further undermining the Yemen’s troubled political transition.

Iran and the P5+1: Solving the Nuclear Rubik’s Cube, Middle East Report N°152, 9 May 2014

A comprehensive nuclear accord may be in reach if both sides – Iran and the Security Council permanent members plus Germany – show determination to settle on a technical agreement and isolate the deal from its complex regional context.

Iraq: Falluja's Faustian Bargain, Middle East Report N°150, 28 Apr 2014

An alliance between the local military council and the jihadi ISIL group is keeping the besieging Iraqi army at bay around Falluja, but unless Sunni alienation is addressed, the city risks a new round of devastating conflict.

Yemen’s Southern Question: Avoiding a Breakdown, Middle East Report N°145, 25 Sep 2013

Yemen must agree on its state structure, including the South’s status, to forge a stable future. A final agreement cannot be forced by the National Dialogue Conference; for some key issues, only continued, more inclusive talks in the context of confidence-building measures can succeed. 中文

Make or Break: Iraq’s Sunnis and the State, Middle East Report N°144, 14 Aug 2013

With Sunni Arab frustration at a boil at home, unprecedented Sunni-Shiite polarisation in the region and deadly car bombings plaguing the country, Iraq is inching toward relapse into generalised sectarian conflict. 中文

Great Expectations: Iran’s New President and the Nuclear Talks, Middle East Briefing N°36, 13 Aug 2013

In the midst of dispiriting events sweeping the region, Hassan Rouhani’s 4 August swearing in as Iran’s president offers a rare and welcome glimmer of hope. 中文

Yemen’s Military-Security Reform: Seeds of New Conflict?, Middle East Report N°139, 4 Apr 2013

Yemen must take further steps to reform its security forces, or longstanding divisions could well undermine its political transition, which entered into a six-month “national dialogue” on 18 March.

Spider Web: The Making and Unmaking of Iran Sanctions, Middle East Report N°138, 25 Feb 2013

For some, a tool to rein in Iran’s nuclear ambitions, for Tehran an illegitimate intrusion into domestic affairs: what is clear is that sanctions have, as yet, failed in diminishing dangerous tensions on the core question of whether Iran’s nuclear goals are military or merely civilian. 中文

Iraq’s Secular Opposition: The Rise and Decline of Al-Iraqiya, Middle East Report N°127, 31 Jul 2012

The demise of Iraq’s Al-Iraqiya Alliance, at threat of marginalisation, would remove the country’s sole credible political representative of a very important community: the secular, non-sectarian middle class.

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