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Iraq, Iran & the Gulf

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Fog Recedes

Middle East Briefing N°43, 10 December 2014

Global leaders taking part on last round of Iran talks pose for a family picture during their meeting in Vienna on November 24, 2014.

When twelve months of intense negotiations between Iran and the P5+1/EU3+3 ended with yet another extension, sceptics saw this as confirmation that the talks are doomed. But it would be as grave a mistake to underestimate the real progress as to overstate the chances of ultimate success. A landmark agreement is still within reach if both sides adopt more flexible postures on enrichment capacity and sanctions relief.

Recent Reports

Iran Nuclear Talks: The Fog Recedes, Middle East Briefing N°43, 10 Dec 2014

When twelve months of intense negotiations between Iran and the P5+1/EU3+3 ended with yet another extension, sceptics saw this as confirmation that the talks are doomed. But it would be as grave a mistake to underestimate the real progress as to overstate the chances of ultimate success. A landmark agreement is still within reach if both sides adopt more flexible postures on enrichment capacity and sanctions relief.

Iran and the P5+1: Getting to “Yes”, Middle East Briefing N°40, 27 Aug 2014

November’s deadline could be the last chance to avoid a breakdown in the Iran and the P5+1 nuclear talks. Compromise on Iran’s enrichment capacity is key to ending the impasse, requiring both sides to walk back from maximalist positions and focus on realistic solutions.

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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.

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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.
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