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

Read More >

All Gulf & Middle-East Experts >  

The battle for Mosul

Iraqi government and allied forces are poised to decisively retake Mosul from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, within the next few months. But the presence of ISIS in Syria will still pose the risk of the group's resurgence in Iraq until the Iraq–Syria border is secure and ISIS has been denied control of Raqqa, its Syrian base and self-declared capital.

  • IISS Voices

    Manama Dialogue 2017: day one video highlights

    09 December 2017.  The first day of the 2017 IISS Manama Dialogue included the Sky News Arabia debate and an opening address by Sir John Jenkins.

  • Events

    The IISS Manama Dialogue 2017

    08 December 2017. 

    8–10 December 2017
    The Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain

  • IISS Voices

    Manama Dialogue Live: Day One

    08 December 2017.  Follow the first day of the IISS Manama Dialogue - the Middle East's premier security summit. Join us for video coverage of the opening speech, key points from the Sky News Arabia debate and analysis by IISS experts.

  • IISS Voices

    Trump’s Jerusalem announcement: shooting his Arab allies in the foot

    07 December 2017.  The president has lit a fire and left his Arab allies to deal with the blaze.

  • IISS Voices

    President Trump, Jerusalem and the future of US diplomacy

    06 December 2017.  Trump’s abandonment of yet another diplomatic convention may not break the bank but it begs the question as to how much global diplomatic credit the United States has left, writes Dana Allin.

  • IISS Voices

    After aborted summit, what now for the GCC?

    06 December 2017.  As the Gulf’s pre-eminent political, military and economic powers, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have reached a strategic alignment that is transforming regional politics. Emile Hokayem examines what their ambitions could mean for the future of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

  • IISS Voices

    Trust in the IAEA’s verification of Iran’s nuclear activities

    05 December 2017.  Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal should learn to trust the world’s most robust verification system.

  • IISS Voices

    Iran, Russia and Turkey are winners in fractured Middle East

    01 December 2017.  Iran dominates the regional security agenda – while Turkey has weathered an attempted coup and turmoil in neighbouring Syria. These countries join Russia as the rising powers in the Middle East.

  • Expert Commentary

    Saudi Arabia right about Iran challenge; but needs strategy

    17 November 2017.  Rather than carefully pushing back Iran, Saudi Arabia's foreign and security policy has been haphazard and counterproductive, writes Emile Hokayem.

  • Strategic Comments

    The repercussions of the Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum

    09 November 2017. 

    Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani appears to have overreached in holding a referendum on independence, although almost 93% voted for it. Major powers support Iraq's territorial integrity. The Iraqi government has asserted military control over the region with Iran's help. Facing political and economic isolation, the Kurdistan Regional Government's authority and cohesion has been weakened. Barzani's futility has likely hardened the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK)'s position in Turkey and increased its regional freedom of action.

Latest Posts

Watch: Highlights of the IISS Manama Dialogue 2016

Adelphi Book

North Africa in Transition

This Adelphi examines how the politics, security and economies have changed in the four states of the Magrheb.