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This programme aims to assess current and emerging security challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) through research, analysis and discussion.

Watch our video introduction to the programme

Work in the programme focuses on four areas.

INSIDE THE MENA tracks how domestic developments are shaping military and wider security dynamics, including political, social and economic aspects.

GEOPOLITICS OF THE MENA provides monitoring of the various sources of instability and conflict flashpoints and offers assessments of emerging tensions and shifting alliances in the region.

EMERGING SECURITY THREATS is focused on key violent non-state actors as well as how new technologies are reshaping proxy competition and influence in the region.

DRIVERS AND OUTCOMES OF CONFLICT identifies policies and strategies to improve governance and stability within the countries in the region, and the role that local and international actors can play to mitigate the risk of new conflicts.

These themes are explored through events that bring together policy makers and experts from across the region and beyond, together with a series of publications which outline scenarios and potential solutions to the emerging security challenges.

 Programme Team

Dr Aniseh Bassiri-Tabrizi
Senior Research Fellow

Marwa Baabbad
Associate Fellow

Tobias Borck
Associate Fellow

Dr Antonio Giustozzi
Associate Fellow

Dr H A Hellyer
Senior Associate Fellow

Clovis Meath Baker CMG OBE
Associate Fellow

Dr Ziya Meral
Senior Associate Fellow

Alison Pargeter
Associate Fellow

Michael Stephens
Associate Fellow


 Related Projects

Iran's foreign policy and implications for the EU and UK

This strand of work aims at establishing a better understanding of Tehran's ultimate ambitions in different dossiers, as well as identify the ways by which the E3 (the UK, France and Germany) and the EU can best achieve their strategic goals on Iran. Drawing on a series of interviews and workshops with practitioners and experts, the research identifies the challenges facing Europe in regard to its Iran strategy and also points to where the opportunities for making progress on the agenda lie.

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State of play of EU-Iran relations and the future of the JCPOA

Iranian Nuclear Pathways

Written and Oral evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee on UK and Iran

The Integrated Review: The UK’s Iran Policy in a Changing Global Security Environment

Better together: The E3 policy on Iran

Iran and the West after the Nuclear deal

Understanding Iran's Role in the Syrian Conflict

No prosperity without justice: the UK’s relationship with Iran

UK's relationship with Iran

Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi provided evidence to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, informing the recently published report outlining the UK's relationship with Iran. Read the report

Challenges to stabilisation and governance in and towards the region

Projects in this section look at the challenges faced by specific governments in the region, but also international actors operating in the MENA, when it comes to stabilisation and governance, look at the drivers of conflict and identify ways for local, regional and international players to address these challenges and drivers.

Selected outputs:

UK strategy on Protection of civilians

Radicalization in the Marginalized Regions of Tunisia: Addressing the Root Causes

Ensuring the Protection of Civilians in Modern Conflict

New Emerging Trends to an Age-Old Challenge: Stable Governance in Northern Iraq

Challenges to Stabilisation in Iraq after the Mosul Operation

Proliferation of armed drones in the Middle East

This project aimed at contributing to the existing knowledge base on unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) proliferation and its broader implications in terms of practices and ethical considerations when it comes to the countries in the Middle East.
Read the Report

Armed Drones in the Middle East
A database to understand the proliferation and use of armed UAV technology in the Middle East

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Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi
Senior Research Fellow +44 (0) 20 7747 2632