All Commons Briefing Papers
30 Documents
15.07.2016Religious persecution in the Middle East and its effect on the UK
Religious persecution has been on the rise in the Middle East.
07.03.2016The People's Mujahiddin of Iran (PMOI)
The People's Mujahiddin of Iran (PMOI) or Mujahiddin e Khalq (MEK) is a group of exiled Iranians opposed to the government of Iran. It is a member of a wider coalition known as the National Council of Resistance in Iran. PMOI/MEK was put on to the Government's list of proscribed terrorist organisations in March 2001. This note describes the proscription of the PMOI in the UK and EU and subsequent removal of the organisation from both the UK and EU proscription lists in June 2008 and January 2009 respectively.
26.10.2015In brief: Iran
Iran is more in the news than ever, with its involvement in the Syrian conflict. This briefing paper is a summary of Iran's domestic politics, regional involvement and the nuclear deal.
16.10.2015The Lausanne Accord with Iran
The nuclear negotiations with Iran took a big step forward with the announcement of a framework for a full agreement, to be signed by the end of June 2015. Will they make it across the finishing line?
19.03.2015ISIS and the sectarian conflict in the Middle East
The radical jihadis of ISIS still control large areas of Iraq and Syria, despite the international campaign against them. But who are they really?
03.12.2014Iran, the nuclear negotiations and relations with the UK
How is the thaw in relations between Iran and the UK going?
20.06.2014Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and the takeover of Mosul
ISIS has shocked observers by the speed of its takeover of large amounts of Iraqi territory
16.05.2014Negotiation with Iran: update May 2014
An impoortant second stage of negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme started in May.
13.12.2013The Deal with Iran
On the 24th of November, the world woke up to news that a deal had been reached between the Permanent Five plus One (the UK, US, France, China, Russia and Germany) and Iran. A Joint Plan of Action was the outcome of weeks of hard negotiations. The deal was indeed revealed to be the fruit of years of US-Iran secret negotiations alongside a decade of public Iranian diplomacy following the revelation of a wide scale Iranian enrichment programme. This note seeks to outline the terms of the deal and reactions to it, background information for context and give a sense of potential technical and geopolitical outcomes.
04.11.2013Recent developments in Iran
Does the election of Hassan Rouhani in iran mean that the nuclear crisis will be resolved?
14.08.2013The Kurds: new perspectives?
Upheaval in the Middle East is bringing about a re-alignment in relation to the Kurds.
03.06.2013Obama and Iran's 2013 elections: The role of presidents in the nuclear crisis
Iran's presidential election, due on 14 june, is unlikely to change Iranian policy over nuclear enrichment.
01.06.2012Iran: could there be a compromise?
For the first time since January 2011, the negotiating group that deals with Iran's nuclear programme is in talks with Iranian representatives. Whether or not this is a result of increased economic pressure and a growing threat of military action, there has been some speculation that this times the talks may be serious and that there is a prospect of a compromise.
15.03.2012Is it legal to use force against Iran?
The answer to this question depends largely on your view of whether Iran is about to use nuclear weapons.
15.02.2012Is Iran building a nuclear weapon?
Iran's nuclear programme remains at the top of the international agenda. Many commentators think that Iran has not made a decision to build a nuclear weapon, but that Iran may want to be at the threshold, with the technical ability and materials to build a weapon fairly quickly if the decision were to be made.
19.01.2012Oil embargo on Iran and the threat to the Straits of Hormuz
EU countries are preparing to impose a new round of sanctions on Iran, to include an embargo on the import of oil. The US has also enacted new legislation which will target the Iranian central bank and make oil trading more difficult for Iran. Iran has responded with some threatening comments about closing the Straits of Hormuz, leading to a rise in the oil price. It has also signalled that it is open to re-starting talks. This note details these developments and gives some samples of recent expert commentary.
13.12.2011In Brief: The Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2011
Comprehensive financial sanctions were imposed on Iran by Statutory Instrument 2775, The Financial Restrictions (Iran) Order 2011, to be debated on a motion to approve on 13 December 2011.
15.11.2011The Arab Uprisings
Since December 2010, the most profound process of change has affected the countries of the Arab world. The change spread quickly between the countries of the region, underlining the many common factors that provoked unrest. How the region's revolutions progress, however, depends on the individual characteristics of each country, which are very different. This paper looks at these similarities and differences and considers the possible outcomes in each case. The legitimacy of ruling regimes, the effect of societies' divisions along confessional lines and the role of the region's militaries are considered.
07.11.2011In Brief: The IAEA report and action against Iran
The IAEA is to release a report on the Iranian nuclear programme on 8 or 9 November. The report will give strong evidence suggesting that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon, and there has been a flurry of speculation that Israel is preparing for military action against Iran.
28.07.2011Power struggle in Iran
This note looks at the internal politics of Iran and, in particular, the recent split in the conservative camp between supporters of Supreme Leader Ali Khamanei and the President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
21.07.2011Iran's nuclear programme: an update
Shortly after taking office, US President Obama gave negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme one year to produce results, promising to push for a new set of United Nations sanctions if there was no progress. The E3+3 countries, France, Germany and the United Kingdom plus China, Russia and the United States reached agreement on a fourth round of sanctions in June 2010 This note looks at Iran's nuclear programme, the effects of UN, US and EU sanctions and possible alternative approaches to the problem.
22.12.2010Global violent jihad
This note looks at British and other assessments of the threat from global violent jihad, Muslim attitudes towards it and the countries that are known to be havens for jihadis and those that are suspected to be at risk.
13.10.2010Iran's nuclear programme and sanctions
Shortly after taking office, US President Obama gave negotiations with Iran over its nuclear programme one year, promising to push for a new set of United Nations sanctions if there was no progress. After negotiating since the end of 2009, the E3+3 countries, France, Germany and the United Kingdom plus China Russia and the United States reached agreement on the fourth round of sanctions in June 2010 This note looks at Iran's nuclear programme and UN, US and EU sanctions.
11.12.2009The Islamic Republic of Iran: An introduction
This paper provides an introduction to the Islamic Republic of Iran; its politics, economy, foreign and defence policies, and nuclear programme. It examines the governmental structure of the theocratic state, analyses the key personalities and forums of decision-making and assesses Iran's policies at home and abroad.
24.09.2009Iran: Conventional Military Capabilities
This note examines the conventional military capabilities that Iran possesses, on the basis of publicly available information. It focuses specifically on Iran's ballistic missile programme which has received increasing attention in light of Iran's perceived nuclear ambitions and the recent changes to the US' missile defence proposals in Europe. It is not intended as a comprehensive assessment but a brief introduction to Iran's military capabilities. It also does not examine Iran's nuclear programme which is outlined in Library Standard Note SN/IA/4262, Iran's Nuclear Programme: An Overview.
06.07.2009Human rights in Iran: An introduction
This note provides an introduction to the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It examines the overall political and legal framework in Iran as it relates to human rights and considers the human rights experiences of religious and ethnic minorities - groups like the Baha'is and Jews - and at the human rights situation relating to gender and sexuality.
04.06.2009Iranian presidential elections 2009
This note provides an overview of the forthcoming presidential elections in Iran. It outlines the main candidates and their platforms, analyses the campaign, assesses the fairness of the elections, and discusses their political and constitutional significance within the context of Iran's broader political system.
03.06.2009Baha'is in Iran
This note provides background information on the detention of seven leaders of the Baha'i faith who have been imprisoned in Iran since March and May 2008. It also considers the international responses to their imprisonment.
23.03.2009In brief: Camp Ashraf and the Geneva Conventions
Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq houses members of the People Mujahedin of Iran. These people were regarded as 'protected persons' under the Fourth Geneva Convention when Ashraf was under US control. On 1 January 2009 control of Ashraf passed fom the US to the Iraqi Government, and concerns have been raised about how its inhabitants will be treated.
30.10.2007The Quds force of the Iranian revolutionary guard