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Analysis & Commentary

19th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Closer Iran-Turkey Ties Face Hurdle over PKK

Amir Toumaj, Merve Tahiroglu

Closer Iran-Turkey Ties Face Hurdle over PKK

Turkish and Iranian leaders have each expressed a desire in recent weeks to enhance bilateral cooperation on regional issues. Meeting that objective, however, will require overcoming some significant differences regarding the Kurdish question. more...

17th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

The Unraveling of Sanctions on the Quds Force’s Qassem Soleimani

Toby Dershowitz, Annie Fixler

The Unraveling of Sanctions on the Quds Force’s Qassem Soleimani

Sanctions against Qassem Soleimani “will stay forever,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday. Soleimani is head of the Quds Force, the arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), responsible for “exporting the revolution” abroad. more...

17th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Russia’s Airline Aeroflot Carried Qassem Soleimani to Moscow and Back

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Russia’s Airline Aeroflot Carried Qassem Soleimani to Moscow and Back

Fox News reported that on July 24, General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force (IRGC-QF), travelled to Moscow, met Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and discussed possible future arms deals with Russian officials. more...

17th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkey’s Terrorism Policies and the Case of Hamas

Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey’s Terrorism Policies and the Case of Hamas

“A terrorist organization is a terrorist organization,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a military ceremony Tuesday, defending Turkey’s two-front war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Islamic State (IS). more...

14th August 2015 – The Long War Journal

New Taliban Emir Accepts al Qaeda’s Oath of Allegiance

Bill Roggio, Thomas Joscelyn

New Taliban Emir Accepts al Qaeda’s Oath of Allegiance

The Taliban’s new leader, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, has accepted the oath of allegiance (bayat) from al Qaeda emir Ayman Zawahiri, as well as the pledges to him from “Jihadi organizations spread throughout the globe.” Mansour’s statement was released just one day after al Qaeda released an audio message from Zawahiri in which he gave bayat to Mansour. more...

13th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

The Iran Deal Rewards Airlines that Served as IRGC Terror Fronts

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The Iran Deal Rewards Airlines that Served as IRGC Terror Fronts

Between 2011 and 2013, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated five of the seventeen airlines currently operating in Iran for their support to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). more...

13th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

The IRGC’s Sanctions Relief Bonanza

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The IRGC’s Sanctions Relief Bonanza

The European Union is slated to delist the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), its commanders, and dozens of its commercial entities within the next eight years, pursuant to the nuclear deal. Washington has downplayed this, noting that the agreement only grants relief for nuclear-related sanctions, and that the IRGC will benefit minimally if at all, noting that IRGC entities will remain under U.S. sanctions even after the EU has delisted them. more...

13th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

PLO Rapprochement with Iran?

Grant Rumley

PLO Rapprochement with Iran?

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) sent a high-level delegation to Iran this week, and announced the formation of a joint committee to enhance bilateral cooperation. The visit is a thaw after two decades of icy relations stemming from Iran’s rejection of the PLO’s diplomacy with Israel. more...

12th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Turkey: Coalition or Snap Elections?

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey: Coalition or Snap Elections?

Two months have passed since Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its parliamentary majority in elections, but the party is still ruling the country through a caretaker government. As the 45-day limit to form government is set to expire August 23, interim Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has three options: find a coalition partner, win the AKP a vote of confidence, or let President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declare snap elections. more...

12th August 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

The IRGC’s Ambivalent Response to the Nuclear Deal

Ali Alfoneh

The IRGC’s Ambivalent Response to the Nuclear Deal

With all eyes fixed on the battle between President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress over the nuclear deal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s struggle against Iranian critics of the deal gains less attention in the Western media. But this battle could also be consequential. more...