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Analysis & Commentary

20th February 2018 – Foreign Policy

Europe’s Sanctions-Blocking Threats Are Empty

Richard Goldberg

Europe’s Sanctions-Blocking Threats Are Empty

A European Union official’s threat this month that Europe would block any attempt by the United States to reimpose sanctions on Iran showed a new level of desperation to deter President Donald Trump from leaving the Iran nuclear deal in May. But with their access to the U.S. financial system hanging in the balance, European banks know that, in the end, the EU must satisfy Trump’s demands to fix the deal or be prepared to fully comply when U.S. sanctions return. more...

15th February 2018 – The Jewish Chronicle

Last weekend’s Israeli border incursion shows the extent of Iranian entrenchment in Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Last weekend’s Israeli border incursion shows the extent of Iranian entrenchment in Syria

Last weekend’s provocation came just before the 39th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and was probably intended to deflect attention from rising discontent at home. But the move should not be considered a one-off. more...

16th February 2018 – Fox News

Militias in Syria could next attack Israel and launch a new war

David Adesnik

Militias in Syria could next attack Israel and launch a new war

The Iranian drone launched from Syria that violated Israeli air space this past weekend sent an unmistakable message to the Jewish state: Iran has opened a new front on Israel’s northern border that could eventually erupt into war. more...

12th February 2018 – New York Post

It’s time for Trump to attack Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

Richard Goldberg

It’s time for Trump to attack Iran’s Revolutionary Guard

When Iran flew an unmanned aerial vehicle into Israel this weekend, the mullahs were testing President Trump, not just Israel. more...

16th February 2018 – RealClearWorld

Economic Warfare a Poor Strategy for PLO’s Abbas

David May

Economic Warfare a Poor Strategy for PLO’s Abbas

It was a speech that few Middle East observers will forget. During his January 14 tirade before the PLO Central Council, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a slew of conspiratorial and anti-Semitic comments. Abbas accused Israel of deliberately creating a drug problem among Palestinians and attempted to undermine the Jewish connection to the land of Israel. more...

8th February 2018 – Fox News

Syria chemical attack rockets ‘Made in Germany,’ report says

Benjamin Weinthal

Syria chemical attack rockets ‘Made in Germany,’ report says

The rockets used in the recent chemical attacks in Syria that poisoned dozens of civilians, including children, were “Made in Germany,” Bild reports. more...

9th February 2018 – The Hill

How Olympic ‘diplomacy’ normalizes North Korea

Anthony Ruggiero, Mathew Ha

How Olympic ‘diplomacy’ normalizes North Korea

Instead of generating goodwill, North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics has demonstrated how rapidly diplomatic engagement can degenerate into a propaganda exercise that benefits only Kim Jong Un. more...

13th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Tillerson Goes to Turkey amid Sanctions Talk in Washington

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Tillerson Goes to Turkey amid Sanctions Talk in Washington

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to visit Turkey on Thursday amidst a breakdown of trust between the U.S. and its longtime NATO ally. Analysts are warning about “a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces” in northern Syria. In Washington, lawmakers are calling for sanctions on Turkey with an ever-louder voice. more...

14th February 2018 – The Hill

Handling Turkey’s Erdogan: What Washington can learn from Russia

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Handling Turkey’s Erdogan: What Washington can learn from Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin knows to handle his fellow authoritarian leaders; he relentlessly applies leverage to extract concessions. This is a lesson that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should bear in mind when he meets his Turkish counterpart this week. more...

25th January 2018 – FDD Research Memo

Iranian Ballistic Missile Tests Since the Nuclear Deal – 2.0

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Since the conclusion of the JCPOA, Iran has launched as many as 23 ballistic missiles. This number is based on aggregated open-source reporting, since neither the U.S. government nor the UN have issued an official statement on the total number of post-deal missile launches. Although the JCPOA did not itself impose any restrictions on Iran’s ballistic missiles – which past and present U.S. Directors of National Intelligence (DNI) have assessed to be Iran’s most likely delivery vehicle for a nuclear weapon – UNSCR 2231, which codifies the JCPOA, contains prohibitions on the testing and transfer of these munitions. This memo builds on an earlier FDD product from February 2017, which determined that Iran conducted 14 post-JCPOA launches. FDD was the first organization to provide a number explicitly for post-deal launches, contributing to the public debate over Iran’s ballistic missile capabilities and intentions. Like the previous memo, this document explains how FDD determined the number of missile tests and explores the implications. more...