Summary: Iraq has a new prime minister but old problems remain even as Muqtada al-Sadr weighs up his opportunities while playing the long game after pulling his party out of parliament.
Summary: Israel is positioning itself well when it comes to exploiting natural resources in the Middle East.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is Dr Renad Mansour, senior research fellow and head of the Iraq Initiative at London’s Chatham House. He has just returned from Baghdad and this wide-ranging conversation explores Iraq’s political impasse and the structure that is responsible for it, the culture of violence and the enigmatic and powerful populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Also on the table: Iran, Gulf neighbours, the JCPOA and climate change.
Summary: Iraq has still to form a government nearly a year after parliamentary elections. The impasse is indicative of a far bigger malaise: a dysfunctional state whose sovereignty is held hostage to armed groups and sectarian interests.
Summary: an end to the blockade of Qatar last year has, on the surface, eased tensions between Abu Dhabi and Doha but look a little deeper and the animosity remains.
Summary: Rasha Al Aqeedi celebrates the joys of Arab cuisine while reserving a special place at the table for her favourite dish.
Summary: Jordan sees in a cautious rapprochement with Iran an opportunity to improve strained relations with the GCC and to find a way out of its economic crisis.
Summary: ISIS has lost its caliphate but remains a potent force, using mobile guerrilla tactics and a highly sophisticated smuggling and extortion network to finance its ongoing insurgency.
Summary: May’s parliamentary elections saw candidates for change emerge as winners and Hezbollah and its allies sustain significant losses so could this be the signal that the country’s long descent into economic chaos may finally be coming to a close?
Summary: as the captagon trade continues to boom in the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, its security and geopolitical implications have become harder to ignore.