Sir John Jenkins is an Associate at Policy Exchange. Until December 2017, he was Corresponding Director (Middle East) at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), based in Manama, Bahrain, and was a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He was the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia until January 2015.
The Warsaw conference on Iran has been and gone. It was heralded loudly — if not always convincingly — by the US. The White House let it be known that it might be an opportunity for the formal construction of a powerful coalition to contain and even push Iran back in the Middle East.
In the last few days, I have spoken to senior Kurds, ordinary Kurds, Iraqi Kurds, Turkish Kurds, Iranian Kurds, Sunni, Shiite, Christian, and Yazidi Kurds — and traveled widely through this stunningly beautiful land, up to Alqosh, Dohuk and back through Amedi.