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Analysis & Commentary

29th April 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

All in the Family: Saudi Clique Takes Over the State

David Andrew Weinberg

All in the Family: Saudi Clique Takes Over the State

Saudi Arabia has the rare distinction of being a nation named after a single family. On Wednesday, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud doubled down on this authoritarian tradition with a bold power play designed to further centralize power while disinheriting other branches of the Al Saud family. more...

23rd April 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Hamas Triumphs in Election at Flagship West Bank University

Grant Rumley

Hamas Triumphs in Election at Flagship West Bank University

The Hamas-dominated Islamist Bloc emerged victorious in student elections at Birzeit University near Ramallah on Wednesday, defeating the secular Fatah faction – which had won all but one student election over the last decade – by a margin of 26 to 19. more...

21st April 2015 – Politico

When Israel Helped Yemen’s Shiites

Oren Kessler

When Israel Helped Yemen’s Shiites

Yemen’s Houthi rebels accuse Israel of standing behind the Saudi-led military campaign launched against them in February. The charge is not unusual—blaming Israel for the Mideast’s sundry ills is a time-honored regional pastime. more...

13th April 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Khamenei’s Choice to Head Powerful Charity Bolsters the IRGC

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Khamenei’s Choice to Head Powerful Charity Bolsters the IRGC

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei appointed Parviz Fattah as the new head of the Imam Khomeini Relief Foundation (IKRF) last weekend. more...

9th April 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Khamenei Breaks Silence over Nuclear Framework

Ali Alfoneh, Behnam Ben Taleblu

Khamenei Breaks Silence over Nuclear Framework

There is “nothing to congratulate,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said Thursday, breaking his silence over a nuclear framework agreement signed with international negotiators a week earlier in Switzerland. In a televised address, Khamenei demanded all sanctions be immediately lifted while at the same time saying he had not been closely involved in drafting the agreement’s details. more...

8th April 2015 – The National Interest

Sultan of Turkey: Erdogan’s Shameless Power Play

Merve Tahiroglu

Sultan of Turkey: Erdogan’s Shameless Power Play

A row erupted within Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on March 21, after the deputy prime minister brazenly condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for stepping outside his boundaries by criticizing the government’s Kurdish peace process. more...

31st March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Nuclear Deal with Jordan is Russia’s Latest Attempt to Woo U.S. Allies

Grant Rumley, Boris Zilberman

Nuclear Deal with Jordan is Russia’s Latest Attempt to Woo U.S. Allies

Russia’s state-run nuclear-energy company last week signed a $10-billion agreement to build the first two nuclear power plants in Jordan’s history. more...

30th March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Did the Islamic State Exaggerate Its Role in the Bardo Museum Attack?

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Did the Islamic State Exaggerate Its Role in the Bardo Museum Attack?

The Tunisian government’s investigation of the devastating March 18 Bardo museum attack in Tunis yielded a surprising result. While the Islamic State (IS) quickly claimed credit for that attack, Tunisia instead attributed it to the al-Qaeda-aligned Katibat Uqba ibn Nafi, and identified the group’s emir Luqman Abu Saqr as the mastermind. more...

26th March 2015 – The Wall Street Journal

Obama’s Iran Policy Is Lost at Sea

Claudia Rosett

Obama’s Iran Policy Is Lost at Sea

American negotiators and their cohorts are trying to close a deal that would let Iran keep its nuclear program, subject to intricate conditions of monitoring and enforcement. Yet how is a deal like that supposed to be verified? The Obama administration can’t even keep up with the Iran-linked oil tankers on the U.S. blacklist. more...

25th March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Unanswered Questions Surrounding Tehran-Pyongyang Cooperation

Ali Alfoneh

Unanswered Questions Surrounding Tehran-Pyongyang Cooperation

With the deadline for nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group drawing near, unanswered questions about the nature of the relationship between Tehran and Pyongyang are taking on new significance. more...