Research Units

Publications

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  • Strategic Report - Iran / Second Edition: The Iranian Situation in 2020

    EPC | 11 Apr 2021

    Iran Strategic Report is designed to provide an impartial and objective reading of the situation in Iran. The importance of this strategic report stems from the political, geographic and social importance of Iran and the impact of its ideological orientations and alliances on regional policies, security and stability in the Gulf region and broader Middle East. Particular importance is attached to the 2020 report given its contribution to the understanding of Iran’s question and drivers of Tehran’s behavior in this potentially decisive year in the life of the Iranian revolution amidst the preparations of the forthcoming presidential elections in June 2021, which will also be pivotal for reasons the reader will find out as she/he reads the report.

  • The UAE Power-Building Model and Foreign Policy Shifts

    Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi | 22 Mar 2021

    The United Arab Emirates represents an ideal case to study of a small state’s effective response to strategic challenges and contemporary shifts in the Middle East. Regional and international geopolitical developments in the region since the dawn of the twenty-first century have forced radical changes in UAE foreign policy and power-building.

  • Iran and the Biden Administration: A Potential Return to Negotiations

    Dr. Ebtesam Al Ketbi | 24 Feb 2021

    Over the past four decades, the issue of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States have dominated the Iranian political arena. Such is the extent of this preoccupation with America, that some argue it is more influential than all other objective and subjective factors in the politics and economics of the region.

  • 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.

Briefs

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  • Shifts in Iran's Quds Force Strategy in Iraq

    EPC | 20 Jun 2021

    The stage that followed the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force (QF), the arm of its Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) early 2020 has shown a state of defect in the strategy of QF in Iraq. The notable feature of this defect was the failure of the new commander of QF Esmail Ghaani to fill the vacuum left by Soleimani’s absence. Moreover, new Iranian actors – who did not have strong presence during Soleimani’s era - have entered the Iraqi scene. In addition, the rise of other factors related to Iraqi Shiite actors has also complicated the strategy of QF in Iraq.

  • The Inauguration of an Iranian Consulate in the Syrian City of Aleppo: Objectives and Significance

    Malik al-Hafez | 15 Jun 2021

    During his visit to the Syrian capital Damascus on 12 May 2021, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced the inauguration of the Iranian Consulate General in the city of Aleppo, located in the north of the country, with the approval of the President of the Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad, with the aim of expanding the scope of cooperation between the two countries.

  • A critical juncture: an Emirati perspective on Iran’s presidential election

    Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi | 26 May 2021

    The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are very directly affected by the fate of Iranian politics – and thus by the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections. In moving forward, the United Nations should sponsor an initiative at the regional level, with the ultimate goal of bringing Iran back into the fold of the international community.

  • The Best Way for Palestinians to Become Winners from the Abraham Accords

    Dr. Ebtesam al-Ketbi | 19 May 2021

    The current round of conflict in Gaza Strip and Israel affirms the urgent need to find a just solution to the Palestinian issue. The fruits of the Abraham Accords will not be complete without finding a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue; a solution that gives Palestinians their legitimate national rights in a state with East Jerusalem as its capital. In exchange, this solution should provide Israelis with security and stability so that they can live in peace and prosperity in their state and in the region.

Featured Topic

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  • The Mercenaries' Dilemma in Libya: Domestic and Regional Repercussions

    Ahmed Nadhif | 21 Jun 2021

    On 22 May 2021, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Libya Jan Kubis warned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that progress on the main issue of withdrawing mercenaries and foreign fighters from Libya had stalled, and that their continued presence posed a threat not only to Libya, but to the entire African region. This warning brought back to the fore the dilemma of mercenaries in Libya, after months of optimism in the wake of the political agreement that ended years of war, and stipulated in one of its clauses the need for all foreign forces to leave the country within 90 days. This paper sheds light on the issue of mercenaries in Libya, first by defining the map of foreign irregular armed forces in the country, and secondly by analysing the political and security repercussions of the presence of those mercenaries, both at the internal and regional levels, as well as trying to anticipate future paths for the development of this dilemma.

  • Sedat Peker's Videos and Their Implications for the Turkish Interior

    EPC | 19 Jun 2021

    Sedat Peker is one of the leaders of the well-known nationalist mafias in Turkey. He is one of the biggest of those leaders and is well-known and prominent in Turkey. He is a Turanian nationalist who glorifies the Turkish state and considers committing any crime in the service of the “higher interests of the state” an honour he does not hesitate to pursue. In the past seven years, he appeared to support the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Erdogan, and has threatened Erdogan’s opponents on more than one occasion. Within the fierce competition that prevailed within the ruling party between the trend of the nationalist Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, and the former Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Erdogan, who relies on the Islamist trend, Sedat Peker aligned himself with Suleyman Soylu by virtue of nationalist tendencies. Soylu helped Sedat Peker to escape from Turkey in 2020 when he discovered that Berat Albayrak was trying to frame Sedat Peker and imprison him to get rid of him and break one of the arms of his rival Soylu within the party.

  • The Fourth War in Gaza: The Formula for Deterrence between Israel and Hamas

    Nizar Abdul Kader | 17 Jun 2021

    The fourth round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian factions led by Hamas erupted on May 10, 2021. This round lasted for 11 days only, while the 2014 war went on for 51 days. However, the latest round has embodied important developments in terms of military and strategic dimensions. These developments will not be limited to the future of any military confrontation between Palestinians and Israel; rather, it will include any potential confrontation between Israel, on the one hand, and Hezbollah and Iran, on the other. This paper seeks to highlight the objectives and outcomes of the recent war and its impact on the formula of deterrence between Palestinians and Israel.

  • Yemen Looks Forward to a New UN Envoy: Causes and Repercussions for the Political Solution Track

    EPC | 10 Jun 2021

    On 12 May 2021, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UNSG) António Guterres announced the appointment of his Special Envoy to Yemen, British diplomat Martin Griffiths, as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. According to this appointment, Griffiths will assume his new position after four years of service by his predecessor, namely the British economist Mark Lowcock. While the international organisation made it clear that Griffiths will continue the mediation mission in the Yemeni conflict until a suitable alternative is found for him, the timing at which this change was announced gave the impression that the international mediation in Yemen has reached a dead end, especially after Griffiths himself showed "interest in assuming a new [UN] mission”, according to United Nations (UN) officials, and that there is greater reliance on the role played by US envoy Timothy Lenderking, given that the administration of President Joe Biden considers resolving the Yemeni conflict a “top priority” for its foreign policy. This paper sheds light on the direct and indirect reasons for Griffith's failure in his mission and his appointment to a new UN position at this time, and the repercussions of this for the role of the UN and the peace process in Yemen in general.

Scenarios

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  • Retired Officers' Initiative and the Political Crisis in Tunisia

    EPC | 14 Jun 2021

    A lot of controversy has been raised about a letter that was sent by some retired Tunisian officers to Tunisian President Kais Saied on 28 May 2021, between those who considered it a manifestation of the military establishment’s desire to intervene in the stifling political crisis in the country, and those who considered it one of the tactics of the Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement in the context of managing the crisis of its relationship with the President of the Republic and its break with the active political and civil actors.

  • Libyan Muslim Brotherhood Transforms into a Society: Motivations and Future Trajectories

    Ahmed Nadhif | 23 May 2021

    In a radical shift, the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has recently announced that it has transformed into a civil society under the name of “Revival and Renewal”.1 The Libyan branch of MB was established almost 7 decades ago (1948) as an affiliate of the umbrella movement in Egypt. This announcement comes in the context of radical changes in Libya and the Arab region. This paper seeks to analyze the nature of this organizational shift by monitoring the motivations of the group, the local and regional contexts of this shift, and attempt to foresee future trajectories of the movement’s behavior and the impact of this announcement.

  • The Leaked Interview with the Iranian Foreign Minister: Implications and Considerations of Domestic Actors

    EPC | 06 May 2021

    ​The leaked audiotape of the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif caused an uproar in the Iranian domestic political arena, became the talk of the town, and led to a change in the parameters of the Iranian political domain on the eve of the presidential elections, in the midst of negotiations with the parties to the nuclear agreement in Vienna.

  • The Struggle Between Kais Saied and Ennahda Movement in Tunisia: Causes and Likely Trajectories

    Ahmed Nadhif | 01 May 2021

    The differences that began more than a year ago between Tunisian President Kais Saied and the Islamic Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement – which has the parliamentary majority – escalated, to turn into an open struggle between the two sides and a media clash with statements, in the light of a multidimensional crisis that the country is going through at all political and economic levels, which was deepened by the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic. This paper seeks to analyse the nature of this struggle between the two sides by monitoring its indicators, revealing its causes and roots, and trying to anticipate the possible paths for its development in the future.