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Middle East and the Gulf

Middle East and the Gulf

With a local office, the IISS has long been involved in the Middle East, attracting leading global policy-makers to its summits on regional security. IISS-Middle East works closely with other offices on research into Iran's nuclear programme, the Arab Spring and other topics.

Expert: Sir John Jenkins

Sir John Jenkins

Executive Director, IISS-Middle East

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Strategic Comments

New Adelphi Book

North Africa in Transition: The Struggle for Democracies and Institutions

This Adelphi book examines how the politics, security and economies – which were largely stable for decades prior to 2011 – have changed in the four states of the Maghreb.

  • Expert Commentary

    Foreign Policy: Obama’s Disastrous Betrayal of the Syrian Rebels

    05 February 2016.  By Emile Hokayem, Senior Fellow for Middle East Security What a difference a year makes in Syria. And the introduction of massive Russian airpower. Last February, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its Shiite auxiliaries mounted a large-scale attempt to encircle Aleppo, the northern city divided between regime and rebels since 2012 and battered by the dictator’s barrel bombs. Islamist and non-Islamist mainstream rebels — to the surprise of those who have derided...

  • Events

    North Africa in Transition

    20 January 2016. 

    IISS-US Book Launch
    Ben Fishman, Editor, North Africa in Transition
    Haim Malka, Contributing Author, North Africa in Transition; Middle East Program Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, CSIS
    John Desrocher, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Egypt and Maghreb Affairs
    Chair: Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS-US
    IISS-US, Washington DC
    Wednesday 20 January 2016, 2pm-3pm EST

  • IISS Voices

    Nelly Lahoud: Jihadis react to recent Saudi executions

    12 January 2016.  Iran reacted angrily to Saudi Arabia’s recent execution of a prominent Shia cleric and others. Meanwhile, some ISIS and al-Qaeda jihadis are threatening revenge for the 43 Sunnis among those executed

  • Expert Commentary

    New Statesman: Behind Saudi Arabia’s bluster is a country that feels under grave threat

    11 January 2016.  By Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East Everybody suddenly seems to have an opinion about Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, until his execution on Saturday an obscure Saudi Shia cleric. Once his death was announced, the airwaves exploded. As a former British ambassador to Riyadh still active in the region, I was asked several times to comment. On Monday morning Nick Robinson on the BBC’s Today programme suggested I might like to...

  • Adelphi Books

    Egypt After the Spring: Revolt and Reaction

    11 January 2016. 

    This Adelphi volume brings together senior scholars as well as rising analysts of Egypt to examine the tumultuous period from the January 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak, via the election and ouster of Muhammad Morsi, to the consolidation of presidential power under Abdel Fattah Al‑Sisi by late 2015.

  • Events

    The Iran Nuclear Deal: Challenges of Implementation

    15 December 2015. 

    Discussion Meeting
    Dr Robert Litwak
    Vice President, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC
    Arundel House, London
    Tuesday 15 December, 12:30-1:30pm

  • IISS Voices

    Nelly Lahoud: Islamic State’s domestic problems

    10 December 2015.  By Dr Nelly Lahoud, Senior Fellow for Political Islamism, IISS-Middle East Islamic State’s French-language magazine Dar Al Islam was triumphant in the wake of the Paris attacks. The editorial of its seventh issue opened condescendingly with ‘Pauvre France,’ celebrating the idea that thanks to the ‘lions of the caliphate’, France was ending its year as it began, ‘in tears and blood’. However, some of the articles inside the same...

  • Events

    Iran After the Nuclear Deal

    09 December 2015. 

    IISS-US Roundtable Discussion
    Ali Ansari, Director, Institute for Iranian Studies, University of St Andrews
    Chair: Mark Fitzpatrick, Executive Director, IISS-US
    Organized in partnership with Wilton Park USA
    IISS-US, Washington DC
    Wednesday 9 December 2015

  • Expert Commentary

    New Statesman: No one knows what they're doing in Syria - but standing back is not an option

    06 December 2015.  By Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East The essential truth about Syria is that no one apart from Iran knows what they are doing. This isn’t an admission of incompetence. It is a recognition that there are so many different actors in the conflict, so many moving parts to any solution, and so many different linkages with other conflicts and sociopolitical challenges in the wider region, and that so much stuff...

  • IISS Bahrain Bay Forum

    Business Opportunity and Political Risk in the Middle East

    29 November 2015. 

    IISS Bahrain Bay Forum Third Plenary Session
    Chair: Sir John Jenkins, Executive Director, IISS-Middle East 
    Khalid Al Rumaihi, Chief Executive, Bahrain Economic Development Board 
    Tadashi Maeda, Senior Managing Director, Japan Bank for International Cooperation; Member of the Council, IISS 
    Majid Jafar, Chief Executive Officer, Crescent Petroleum 
    Dr Nelly Lahoud, Senior Fellow for Political Islamism, IISS

The Rise of ISIS

To mark the tenth anniversary of the IISS Manama Dialogue the IISS is publishing an Adelphi book that analyses the key challenges now faced by the Middle East.