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 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

In the News

Sep 28, 2021

Slavin quoted in Alhurra on the future of the Iran nuclear deal talks

By Atlantic Council

Arabic International Norms

IranSource

Sep 27, 2021

Are vaccines and Afghanistan routes back to US-Iran engagement?

By Barbara Slavin

How to get the Ebrahim Raisi administration to engage with the United States—directly or through intermediaries—is the question.

Iran Middle East

In the News

Sep 24, 2021

Slavin joins the Scott Horton Show to discuss Iran’s growing influence in the Middle East

By Atlantic Council

Conflict International Organizations

In the News

Sep 23, 2021

Slavin quoted in France24 on nuclear deal talks

By Atlantic Council

Iran Middle East

IranSource

Sep 23, 2021

With the US out of Afghanistan, Iran jumps on the opportunity of joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

By Jonathan Fulton

Even if Iran’s full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is stalled, the US exit from Afghanistan changes the regional landscape.

Afghanistan China

IranSource

Sep 22, 2021

Iran ‘won’ the war with Iraq but at a heavy price

By Barbara Slavin, Abbas Kadhim

More than four decades after the beginning of a dreadful war that shaped the lives and worldview of a generation, Iraq and Iran seem to have put the past behind them and moved to a new relationship. But the road ahead is not without landmines. The balance of power is too lopsided in Iran’s favor to allow for a healthy alliance and Iran’s continued estrangement from the US makes Baghdad’s balancing act even trickier. The Iranians may be enjoying their triumphant short-term position, but the long-term consequences could be calamitous.

Iran Iraq

IranSource

Sep 21, 2021

Iranian children are being punished based on their parents’ religion and beliefs

By Hamed Farmand

In practice, Iran’s discriminatory law affects almost all aspects of minority children’s lives, such as safety and well-being and access to health and education.

Human Rights Iran

In the News

Sep 16, 2021

Slavin quoted in The National Interest on failures of the War on Terror

By Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Policy

IranSource

Sep 16, 2021

Iran’s environmental woes could be Raisi’s Achilles heel

By Javad Heiran-Nia and Mahmood Monshipouri

Among the challenges encountered by the Islamic Republic of Iran, climate change looms as one of the most serious, disrupting, and even life-threatening issues facing both rural and urban populations. This threat has worsened at a time when Iran is politically polarized, ideologically fractured, and economically embattled.  

Energy & Environment Iran

In the News

Sep 15, 2021

Dagres joins Monocle to discuss the JCPOA

By Atlantic Council

Economic Sanctions Intelligence