About the program

The Atlantic Council is leading a long-term initiative on Iraq led by Dr. Abbas Kadhim. The Iraq Initiative seeks to provide US and European policymakers with unique perspectives from within Iraq as well as impartial, pragmatic policy recommendations. The Iraq Initiative addresses the current security challenges Iraq faces as well as identifies policies that will unlock Iraq’s potential to develop the drivers of any successful society: inclusive politics, economic development, and a vibrant civil society. It is critical that international conversation about Iraq moves from being solely focused on security and military engagement to broader policy issues such as attracting investment, improving governance and service delivery, and the country’s unique geopolitical role. The Iraq Initiative also works to develop relationships with Iraqi officials to bring them together with the right US and European policymakers and influencers to discuss how to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.

Experts

Advisory Committee

  • Ambassador Feisal al-Istrabadi, Founding Director, Center for the Study of the Middle East, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Ambassador Rend al-Rahim, Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United States
  • Mr. Stephen J. Hadley, Former US National Security Advisor
  • Mr. Majid Jafar, CEO, Crescent Petroleum
  • Ambassador David Mack, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs
  • Ambassador Srood Najib, Former Head, Multilateral Department, Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr. Meghan O’Sullivan, Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Kennedy School, Harvard University
  • General David Petraeus, Chairman, KKR Global Institute
  • Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie, Former Iraqi Ambassador to the United States
  • Mr. Olin Wethington, Founder and Chairman, Wethington International LLC

Past events

Event Recap

Jun 26, 2019

Arab Barometer Polling Data Event

By Atlantic Council

On June 26, the Hariri Center, in collaboration with Arab Barometer, held a public event to release Arab Barometer’s latest public opinion survey data from Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan. Following their presentation, Arab Barometer experts Mark Tessler and Kathrin Thomas joined Iraq Initiative Director Abbas Kadhim and Nonresident Senior Fellow Faysal Itani for a panel […]

Iraq Middle East
mickmulroy

Insights & Impact

Jun 1, 2019

Private Roundtable on Iraq with DASD Mick Mulroy

On May 7, the Iraq Initiative hosted Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Michael “Mick” Mulroy for a private, off-the-record discussion on Iraq. Middle East Programs Director William F. Wechsler moderated the conversation.

Iraq Middle East

Event Recap

Jul 19, 2019

Private virtual roundtable with Al-Bayan Center on US-Iraq relations

By Atlantic Council

On July 19, the Atlantic Council’s Iraq Initiative hosted a roundtable with Al-Bayan Center, a think tank based in Baghdad. Iraq Initiative Director Dr. Abbas Kadhim moderated the conversation. The participants from Al-Bayan joined by videoconference.

Economy & Business Energy & Environment

All content

IranSource

Nov 23, 2022

Drone sales to Russia spark a debate in Iran

By Javad Heiran-Nia

The revelation that Iran has sold drones to Russia that the latter is now using to attack Ukraine has touched off a debate about whether this growing closeness to Russia is in Iran’s national interest.

Europe & Eurasia Iran

IranSource

Nov 22, 2022

Iranians are knocking clerics’ turbans off. This isn’t an anti-religion act but an indirect tool for accountability.

By Shadi Sadr

This viral trend of #Turban_Throwing is not an attack against Islam as a religion and faith, but rather a stand against a regime that has used religious practices as a cover to commit unimaginable violence.

Iran Middle East

China-MENA Podcast

Nov 22, 2022

China-Israel Relations

By Atlantic Council

Assaf Orion joins us to discuss the complex Sino-Israeli relationship, Israel’s perspective on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the Chinese-operated port of Haifa in Northern Israel, China’s meddling in Israeli domestic affairs and its role in the Israel-Palestine question, and Israel’s perspective on China’s grand strategy on MENA.

China East Asia

IranSource

Nov 18, 2022

Iran’s export of drones to Russia will lead to more proliferation and threaten US partners

By Seth J. Frantzman

Russia’s increasing use of Iranian drones in the war in Ukraine has spotlighted the danger that Iran’s drones pose globally and regionally.

Defense Technologies Europe & Eurasia

IranSource

Nov 10, 2022

The Hamid Noury conviction in Stockholm—a win for People’s Tribunals?

By Marilena Stegbauer

The former Iranian official’s conviction sends a powerful message: although the mills of justice may grind slowly, nobody can remain beyond the reach of justice forever.

Human Rights Iran

IranSource

Nov 4, 2022

Iran’s repression of dissent and help to Russia in Ukraine are deepening its isolation

By Anonymous

Regardless of the outcome of the current protests on the domestic Iranian political scene or the course of the Ukraine war, the consequences of Iran’s actions on issues ranging from the fate of the nuclear deal to regional policies may not be short-lived.

Iran Middle East

IranSource

Oct 28, 2022

To help protect Iranian protesters, the State Department should dox security forces

By Andrew L. Peek

The Islamic Republic’s crackdown has produced a significant amount of street-level video footage taken by citizen journalists with smart phones of security forces committing violence against protestors.

Human Rights Iran

New Atlanticist

Oct 26, 2022

Israel’s president shares new intel on Iranian drones in Ukraine: ‘This is only the tip of the iceberg’

By Nick Fouriezos

President Isaac Herzog, at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council and Jeffrey M. Talpins Foundation’s N7 Initiative, spoke about regional cooperation and Israel’s approach to the war in Ukraine.

Conflict Iran

IranSource

Oct 20, 2022

The next generation of Iranian women dare to imagine a future with freedom. This is what they want us to see. 

By Rosa Rahimi

Iranians are demanding very un-audacious things: to own their own bodies; to live in a country where their mothers don’t feel compelled to risk their own lives out of hope their daughters may lead freer ones; to wear what they like to breakfast.

Human Rights Iran

China-MENA Podcast

Oct 20, 2022

Arab Barometer and Perceptions of China in MENA

By Atlantic Council

Michael Robbins joins us to discuss the region’s perception of China based on the Arab Barometer’s surveys conducted in MENA, and the different perspectives of the general public versus the elite—as the latter tends to be more favorable toward Beijing.

China East Asia