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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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

Fri, May 1, 2020

Have COVID-19 and Iran tensions doomed Coalition anti-ISIS strategy?

After five years of a successful campaign against ISIS, the Coalition may be permanently crippled by tensions with Iran. Furthermore, the pandemic may serve as a convenient excuse for partners to wrap up their presence in Iraq.

MENASource by Seth Frantzman

Iraq Middle East

Mon, Apr 27, 2020

The future of US-Iraq relations

This Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative report by Nonresident Senior Fellow Dr. C. Anthony Pfaff analyzes the current challenges in the US-Iraq relationship and presents policy recommendations.

In-Depth Research & Reports by C. Anthony Pfaff

Iraq Middle East

Thu, Apr 23, 2020

How the US military should leave Iraq

It is still possible to retain US influence in Iraq and to offer Iraqis an alternative to complete domination by Iran.

MENASource by Barbara Slavin

Iraq Middle East

Wed, Apr 22, 2020

Challenges for Iraq’s new government under Mustafa Al-Kadhimi

The protests that started in October 2019 ushered in a new political era in Iraq. For the first time in the post-2003 process of democratic transition, a government was forced to resign due to popular pressure. The resignation of Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet forced the Iraqi political leadership to face contentious constitutional and procedural […]

MENASource by Abbas Kadhim

Iraq Middle East

Tue, Apr 21, 2020

Kadhim quoted in the New York Times on anti-Iranian sentiment in Iraq

In the News by Atlantic Council

Coronavirus Iraq

Thu, Apr 9, 2020

Third time’s the charm for a new Iraqi PM?

“Iraq needs a prime minister with a mandate from the parliament and the people," Thomas Warrick says, "and al-Kadhimi represents the best chance in a long time for an Iraqi leader who understand the needs of the people for honest, competent, and responsive government."

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Democratic Transitions Iraq


Tue, Jun 9, 2020

A conversation with Iraq’s former foreign minister Dr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim

ONLINE EVENT — A discussion with Iraq's most recent former Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamed Ali Alhakim moderated by Atlantic Council Iraq Initiative Director Dr. Abbas Kadhim.


Wed, Jun 10, 2020

Four-month countdown to the expiration of the UN arms embargo on Iran

ONLINE EVENT - How will the world react? Whether the UN arms embargo on Iran expires or is extended will have major implications for the United States’ partners, competitors, and the region.