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Analysis & Commentary

13th January 2017 – FDD Research

Should Boeing and Airbus sell planes to Iran Air?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Should Boeing and Airbus sell planes to Iran Air?

In January 2016, Airbus inked a deal to sell 118 planes to Iran Air, the Islamic Republic’s flag carrier, and in June of that year, Boeing announced it had reached a deal for the sale of 100 aircraft as well. In September, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued initial export licenses for both companies to deliver the jetliners. In November, Airbus received the official export license and just this week delivered its first plane to Iran Air. more...

15th January 2017 – Lawfare

Terrorists, Insurgents, Something Else? Clarifying and Classifying the “Generational Challenge”

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Terrorists, Insurgents, Something Else? Clarifying and Classifying the “Generational Challenge”

The Trump administration’s appointments have signaled that it will continue to prioritize the fight against jihadist violent non-state actors (VNSAs)—a broad term that we find far more useful than an exclusive focus on terrorist groups, but a term in desperate need of clarification. In this article we provide a taxonomy of VNSAs that can be used to produce more rigorous discussion of them. more...

13th January 2017 – The Hill

Meet Venezuela’s new VP, fan of Iran and Hezbollah

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Meet Venezuela’s new VP, fan of Iran and Hezbollah

Facing a parliamentary vote to oust him and a call for new elections, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Jan. 4 replaced Vice President Aristóbulo Istúriz with regime loyalist Tareck El Aissami, the governor of Aragua State. El Aissami's appointment comes at a critical time for the embattled Bolivarian regime. Venezuela's economy is spiraling into chaos under the crushing weight of triple-digit inflation, basic commodities shortages, widespread corruption and violent crime. more...

16th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage

Jonathan Schanzer

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday eased sanctions against Sudan based on improved behavior, and with the expectation that Sudan “sustains [the] positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months.” The move, which comes after months of rumors that Sudan would be removed entirely from the U.S. terrorism sponsors list, punts the six-month review to the Donald Trump administration. more...

16th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Another Palestinian Unity Agreement?

Grant Rumley

Another Palestinian Unity Agreement?

A coalition of Palestinian parties released a statement last week calling for the first session in over two decades of the parliamentary body of the PLO, the Palestinian National Council (PNC). more...

12th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Treasury Targets North Korea’s Human Rights Abusers

Anthony Ruggiero

Treasury Targets North Korea’s Human Rights Abusers

The U.S. Department of the Treasury yesterday designated seven North Korean individuals and blocked two entities of the regime in response to North Korea’s human rights abuses and censorship activities. The State Department complemented the action with its Report on Human Rights Abuses and Censorship in North Korea. more...

10th January 2017 – The Washington Times

Lost in cyberspace

Clifford D. May

Lost in cyberspace

Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee was mischievous. Did it change the outcome of the 2016 elections? No evidence suggests that and the intelligence community isn’t claiming that. more...

11th January 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Abbas on the Ropes

Grant Rumley

Abbas on the Ropes

For most of his 12 years as president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas has enjoyed the White House’s full-throated backing. The administration of George W. Bush, which supported Abbas’ appointment as prime minister in 2003 and lauded his rise to the presidency in 2005, showered his government with material aid and pledges of political support. more...

10th January 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

Olli Heinonen

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. more...

9th January 2017 – The Washington Post

Iran’s Rafsanjani: A legacy of terrorism and repression behind a facade of moderation

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Iran’s Rafsanjani: A legacy of terrorism and repression behind a facade of moderation

Shortly before his death, Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Iran’s former president and clerical major domo, mused on the Holocaust. “For instance, it is said that six million Jews died. Later accounts reveal that although people died, many Jews were in hiding during those days; ‘the dead’ are actually still living.” The larger point of the interview was to remind Iranian officials not to quibble publicly with the fraudulent Western narrative of the Holocaust, for it only empowers Israel. Such was Rafsanjani’s method and guile: He frequently brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy. more...