The Iraq Initiative provides transatlantic and regional policy makers with unique perspectives and analysis on the ongoing challenges and opportunities facing Iraq as the country tries to build an inclusive political system, attract economic investment, and encourage a vibrant civil society.

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Tue, Aug 4, 2020

Three years after the Caliphate, Iraq’s Christians find little incentive to return

The region’s few remaining Christians find themselves caught between Iran-backed Shia militias and an Iraqi government that, nearly twenty years after the American invasion, is politically paralyzed and still unable to provide basic security and services—let alone protect the country’s embattled minority populations.

MENASource by Paul Gadalla

Iraq Middle East

Wed, Jul 29, 2020

Iraq Initiative featured in The New York Times Magazine

In the News

Iraq Middle East

Fri, Jul 24, 2020

Why did Iran back Mustafa al-Kadhimi as Iraqi prime minister?

A key reason for this is that the American-installed political structure in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein has never really been successful in terms of fulfilling the main responsibilities of a state: providing security and basic necessities of life to the Iraqi people.

IranSource by Hassan Ahmadian

Iran Iraq

Thu, Jul 23, 2020

Iranian foreign minister’s visit aggravates Iraqi-Saudi rapprochement

All the details were carefully planned for Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s first foreign tour since taking office. Saudi Arabia, strongly supported by the United States, was selected as the first destination for the untested Iraqi leader, who is facing insurmountable challenges on the home front. Kadhimi is eagerly looking for quick accomplishments to build […]

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Economy & Business Iran

Fri, Jul 17, 2020

Kadhimi’s moment: Controlling Iraq’s militias

The July 6, 2020 assassination of Hisham al Hashimi, a well-known political analyst who criticized Iraq’s sectarian politics, represented the loss of someone who made meaningful contributions to Iraq’s recovery and reconciliation efforts towards recovery and reconciliation. Hashimi’s death also represented an escalation that threatens to bring back the gang-like violence Iraq experienced from 2004 to 2008.

Blog Post by C. Anthony Pfaff

Iraq Middle East

Tue, Jun 9, 2020

US-Iraq strategic talks not just about security issues, says Iraqi former foreign minister

Mohamed Ali Alhakim said the upcoming process is a necessary, long-planned step in ongoing bilateral ties between Baghdad and Washington. But he took pains to call the process a dialogue involving the US government and the sovereign state of Iraq, one which will define the Pentagon’s future presence in Iraq as well as non-military aspects of the relationship including education, energy, culture, trade, and foreign investment.

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Conflict Coronavirus

Fri, May 15, 2020

Iran to remain key energy source for Iraq, says former electricity minister Luay Al-Khatteeb

“The only available option we have at the moment right now is Iran—and let’s be frank. I couldn’t care less as a client from the receiving end about whether this molecule of gas comes from Iran or Saudi Arabia. What really matters to me is that this gas is competitive pricewise, can be delivered as soon as possible, and meets my volume demands," said Luay Al-Khatteeb

New Atlanticist by Larry Luxner

Energy Markets & Governance Iran

Wed, May 13, 2020

Iraq’s new prime minister must manage expectations

There is one that Mustafa al-Kadhimi must be the most cautious in tackling—the management of expectations.

MENASource by Rend Al-Rahim

Iraq Middle East

Thu, May 7, 2020

After months of gridlock, Iraq gets a new government

Iraq’s months-long quest to form a national government reached a major milestone on May 6 when a partial government under new prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi was approved by lawmakers. Al-Kadhimi—who previously served as Iraq’s national intelligence chief—was nominated by Iraqi President Barham Salih on April 9 after two previous nominees failed to form a government. Although fifteen of the major cabinet posts were approved by the parliament, several others have not yet been confirmed—including foreign affairs, justice, oil, agriculture, and trade—due to failure to reach an agreement between major parties on their allocation.

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Democratic Transitions Iraq

Thu, May 7, 2020

New Iraqi government must face a pandemic and oil price drop

The formation of a fully authorized government provides a chance for Iraq to address its most pressing twin crises.

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Coronavirus Iraq