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Analysis & Commentary

16th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Repression of Foreign Journalists Intensifies

Tzvi Kahn

Iran’s Repression of Foreign Journalists Intensifies

Iran’s targeting of foreign journalists has intensified. In recent weeks and months, the regime has conducted cyber attacks against Iranian journalists abroad, launched a criminal investigation of BBC Persian, and falsely charged a British-Iranian for conspiring against the regime by teaching journalism. Tehran’s conduct reflects its longstanding fear that journalists constitute Western agents who seek to infiltrate the country with foreign ideologies contrary to Shiite Islam. more...

15th November 2017 – The Washington Times

Came the revolution

Clifford D. May

Came the revolution

My political orientation has evolved slowly over decades. With one exception: I became anti-Soviet and anti-Communist overnight. More quickly than that, actually. more...

13th November 2017 – The Hill

Thanks to US pressure, Maduro’s reckoning is coming

Michaela Frai

Thanks to US pressure, Maduro’s reckoning is coming

On Thursday, the U.S. used its latest round of sanctions on 10 current and former government officials to emphasize its commitment to denouncing fraudulent elections in Venezuela as well as promoting the human rights of those suffering under Maduro’s corrupt regime. By continuing to name-and-shame those in the regime responsible for such crimes, the U.S. has a unique opportunity to both help support a return to democracy and protect the Venezuelan economy from total collapse. more...

9th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Backs Saudi Claim about Iranian Missile Support to Yemeni Rebels

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Alexandra N. Gutowski

U.S. Backs Saudi Claim about Iranian Missile Support to Yemeni Rebels

Regional tensions escalated as Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for an attempted missile strike on its capital by Yemeni rebels. On November 4, Saudi defenses intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels (also known as Ansar Allah) at a Riyadh airport. more...

8th November 2017 – Foreign Policy

Does Trump Realize That His New Iran Strategy Could Suffer a Fatal Blow in Syria?

John Hannah

Does Trump Realize That His New Iran Strategy Could Suffer a Fatal Blow in Syria?

Note to President Trump: The new Iran strategy that you announced just three weeks ago is hanging by a thread. Its fate will likely be decided in the next few months on the Syria-Iraq border. more...

8th November 2017 – The National Interest

Iran’s New Missile Cap Offer Is a Total Sham

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran’s New Missile Cap Offer Is a Total Sham

Last week, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared that the country’s Supreme Leader had mandated "cap" on the range of Iran’s surface-to-surface ballistic missile force of 2,000 kilometers. more...

8th November 2017 – The Washington Times

Osama bin Laden’s secret diary

Clifford D. May

Osama bin Laden’s secret diary

On May 2, 2011, a Navy SEAL team made a brief stop in Abbottabad, Pakistan where they terminated Osama bin Laden’s life and then moved on to their second mission: collecting as much information as possible from within the al Qaeda leader’s compound. more...

8th November 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Kurd Your Enthusiasm

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

Kurd Your Enthusiasm

On October 16, the world woke to footage of the Iraqi army barreling toward Kirkuk, several hundred miles north of Baghdad. Their mission was to reclaim the city, but not from jihadists; rather, they planned to win it back from the Kurds. Three years ago, as the Islamic State (ISIS) tore into Iraq, the country’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) fought back against the fundamentalists and captured Kirkuk for itself. more...

8th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Treasury Department Cuts Off Bank of Dandong

Mathew Ha

Treasury Department Cuts Off Bank of Dandong

The Treasury Department on Thursday issued its final rule barring a Chinese bank from the U.S. financial system because of its role as a North Korean money launderer. Bank of Dandong is a small Chinese bank, but Treasury’s action provides clues on how it plans to restrict North Korea’s continued access to the U.S. and international financial system. more...

7th November 2017 – The Hill

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ might play right into US interests

John Hannah

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ might play right into US interests

Most of us have told our kids that the ends don’t justify the means. But what if your objective is something as audacious as rapidly modernizing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? What if your aim is to break the kingdom’s support for the extremist form of Islam — known as Wahhabism — that has served as the essential source material for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the jihadist ideology that American troops have been at war with since 9/11? How much centralization of power, even absolutism, would you put up with to see that revolutionary program succeed? more...