Research Units

Publications

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  • Mass Protests and the American-Iranian Competition in Iraq

    EPC | 16 Jul 2020

    Iraq today finds itself at a crossroads, beset by challenges and life-and-death decisions. The public protests that erupted in early October 2019 revealed a number of deep structural crises in the country, growing public resentment vis-à-vis the political elite, and an expanding rift between these political forces and the Iraqi street. They have ignited a conflict that has opened the door to all manner of possible future scenarios for the nation.

  • Social Forces in Contemporary Iran

    EPC | 23 Apr 2020

    Our neighbor, Iran, is currently experiencing significant social turmoil in the face of escalating economic challenges and political crises – largely manifested in the form of ongoing public protests.

  • Internal and External Dynamics of a Rapidly Changing Turkey

    EPC | 07 Oct 2019

    Turkey is today undergoing significant political turbulence. President Erdogan’s popularity is in decline and the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears increasingly vulnerable to

  • The UN Peacemaking Role in Yemen

    EPC | 01 Oct 2019

    From the initial crisis surrounding political transition, and through the ensuing war, the United Nations (UN) has played a variety of roles in Yemen, under its mandate from the international community.

Briefs

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  • Will American Forces Withdraw from Eastern Syria?

    EPC | 18 Nov 2020

    ​Although the word "withdrawal" from eastern Syria has been repeated by US President Donald Trump and the staff of his administration more than once, and accusations were simultaneously directed towards the so-called "deep state" of delaying the execution of orders and manipulating procedures, this trend has taken a more serious turn recently in light of the existence of motives that drive it and people that are capable of accomplishing it.

  • French Interior Minister’s Visit to Maghreb Countries: Objectives and Prospects of Relations

    Shereen Mohammed | 17 Nov 2020

    The visit of the French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin to the Arab Maghreb countries (Tunisia, Morocco, and Algeria), during the first third of November 2020, gained increasing importance, both for Paris and for the Maghreb capitals, due to urgent security and political considerations. While the visit was scheduled for some time, it came in the wake of the Nice terrorist attacks and the escalation of irregular migration waves to the European continent.

  • Endorsement of Electoral Constituencies in Iraq between Demands for Reform and Parties’ Interests

    EPC | 16 Nov 2020

    ​Eleven months after the election law was approved, the Iraqi Parliament managed at the end of October 2020 to finally agree on the electoral districts’ formula in the general election law, in preparation for the early elections scheduled for June 2021. This paper sheds light on the amendment of the articles on the form of the electoral districts in the law, the positions of the various political and popular actors thereon, and their impact on the expected results of the upcoming elections.

  • Why Agreement to Normalize Conditions in Sinjar, Iraq has not been Implemented Yet?

    EPC | 09 Nov 2020

    ​The agreement that was reached between the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on 9 October 2020 regarding the Sinjar District of the Nineveh Governorate was described as "historic", as it paves the way for the return to normality in the District for the first time since its liberation from the Daesh (IS) organisation, and ends the influence of the Shiite militias and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the District. However, although almost a month has passed since the conclusion of the agreement, it has not yet started to be implemented due to its security provisions that conflict with the interests of the armed factions present in the city.

Featured Topic

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  • Struggle between the Federal Government and Tigray Region in Ethiopia: Dynamics and Scenarios

    EPC | 11 Nov 2020

    ​Ethiopia stands today at the threshold of a new phase of turmoil that threatens the country's unity, territorial integrity and social structure, after the escalation of the dispute between the Ethiopian Federal Government and the administration of the Tigray region as a result of the tension that prevailed over the relation between them over the past two years, and that recently witnessed a serious development, namely the launch by the Ethiopian army of a military attack against the region. This raises serious questions about the fate of the situation in Ethiopia and the future of the Tigray region in light of the ongoing conflict between the region and the federal government.

  • Turkish Expansion in the Region: Motives, Restrictions and Prospects

    ​Ahmed Diab | 10 Nov 2020

    Numerous indicators show that Turkey intends to continue its expansion in the region and that this expansion has become part of Turkey’s political and strategic doctrine to consolidate regional influence under the Islamist-leaning Justice and Development Party (AKP) government led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan. This paper sheds light on the incentives and drivers of the Turkish trend towards increasing regional expansion, the constraints and challenges facing it, and its potential consequences and future prospects.

  • Iran Changes its Position on the War between Azerbaijan and Armenia: Reasons and Indications

    EPC | 26 Oct 2020

    ​Iran’s northwestern border has been witnessing a fierce war between its two neighbours Armenia and Azerbaijan. The spillover of the war seems to have affected the Iranian territories. Artillery shells are reported to have fallen on Iranian villages in the East Azerbaijan and Ardabil provinces, which are inhabited by the Azeri community in Iran. In addition, the Iranian air defense system has responded to a drone that crossed the Iranian borders. This prompted Iran to express a strong-language objection to both parties to the conflict, stressing that "encroachment on the Iranian borders is a red line". In terms of rhetoric and political positions, Iran considers that the conflict is taking place in the area right outside its borders where it has played a clear role during the past years, and on which it has relied to withstand US sanctions, despite the limited Iranian role in this region in particular, considering that Russia is against any attempts at carrying out any activities therein. Moscow considers the region a traditional sphere of its influence.

  • COVID-19, the oil price collapse and the Iraqi economy

    Zeinab Shuker | 21 Oct 2020

    The OPEC+ member states, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, agreed in April 2020 to slash oil production by 9.7 million barrels per day (mbpd) in May and June – the deepest cuts ever agreed by the world’s oil producers. They aim to stabilize both oil markets and prices, which reached their lowest level in almost two decades due to the coronavirus. Iraq – the second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia – agreed to a cut of 850,000 barrels per day (bpd). However, as with some other producers in the region, Iraq faces both the short-term challenges to its crisis-ridden economy posed by COVID-19 and those that necessitate fundamental long-term changes to its oil-dependent economic structure.

Scenarios

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  • Inflation in Iran: Facts and Scenarios

    EPC | 18 Nov 2020

    Inflation is one of the main indicators for measuring the performance of the Iranian economy. Monthly inflation rates refer to the change in the price of goods within one month. There is a slow criterion which is the total inflation within 12 months, which is an indicator of the annual performance, and the deep trend of the economic performance. The Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced that it plans to limit annual inflation at 22 percent (with a margin of increase or decrease of nearly two percentage points), after it had reached the level of 41.2 percent in 2019, setting one of two records over the past four decades. This paper discusses inflation scenarios in Iran, in both its monthly and annual versions, over the remaining five months of the current Iranian fiscal year, in view of several influences, including the outcome of the US elections and internal developments.

  • Succession of Ghannouchi and Increasing Division Inside Ennahda Movement: Indications and Scenarios

    Shereen Mohammed | 25 Oct 2020

    ​The Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement in Tunisia is witnessing an escalating struggle between its leaders. This is mainly due to the problematic succession of Rached al-Ghannouchi as the head of the Movement, considering that the Movement has become divided between two groups, one of them advocating the continuation of Ghannouchi as the Movement’s leader by renewing his candidacy for a third presidential term to maintain the Movement’s stability and survival at the forefront of the country’s political scene, while the other refusing to amend the Movement’s internal law which stipulates that Ghannouchi may not assume the leadership of the Movement for more than two consecutive terms.

  • The Announcement of Fayez al-Sarraj Resignation: Likely Scenarios in Libya

    EPC | 19 Oct 2020

    ​In mid-September 2020, Fayez al-Sarraj, Chair of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, announced his intention to resign from his post before the end of October at the latest, in the hope that the Dialogue Committee would, by then, have appointed a new prime minister and Presidential Council. This came a few days after the interim government, based in the eastern city of Al-Bayda, also tendered its resignation to the president of the House of Representatives, Aguila Saleh Issa. The timing of these two events, and the continuation of each government’s activities within the scope of its temporary control, is a sign of progress in the current discussions on both the political and military tracks. It also provides a space in which to build common ground with a view to launching a new transitional period, during which existing divisions could be overcome and preparations could be made for holding presidential and parliamentary elections, in accordance with agreed constitutional provisions.

  • Morocco’s Experience of Combating Terrorist Threats: Indicators of Success and Future Possibilities

    Shereen Mohammed | 13 Oct 2020

    The Moroccan model for dealing with violent and terrorist groups, in particular Islamic State (IS) and Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, is one of very few cases of a pre‑emptive mechanism for preventing national security threats. Most Arab States have, by contrast, taken a curative approach to dealing with the consequences of terrorism (i.e. retrospectively, once the impact has grown), in particular after the 2011 revolutionary movement and the armed conflict that subsequently spread throughout several Arab States. This article will examine the “multi‑pronged pre-emptive” approach adopted by the Moroccan government, which blends political and security dimensions, especially in view of important economic factors compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.