The Latest - Iran

Iran Latest

9th March 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Qods Force chief: Israel’s destruction the blood debt of Hezbollah commander’s death

Amir Toumaj

Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, the chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qods Force, addressed last month a commemoration held in Iran for slain Lebanese Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh (AKA Hajj Radwan). more...

28th February 2018 – FDD's Iran Project

FDD Profiles of Leading Iranian-Backed Militias

Amir Toumaj, David Adesnik

Iran has built a network of Shiite militias, now fighting across the Middle East, whose fighters number in the tens of thousands. These militias include battle-hardened fighters as well as poorly trained recruits. They hail from countries across the Muslim world and have varying motivations and interests, but they have one thing in common: they project the Islamic Republic’s power and promote its revolutionary ideology. Iran’s Shiite foreign legion has played an indispensable role in preserving the Assad regime in Syria, but all the groups have expressed a readiness to wage war against all enemies of the Islamic Republic. more...

21st February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Parsing the Iran portions of the 2018 Worldwide Threat Assessment

Behnam Ben Taleblu

On select measures of the Iran threat, the 2018 document is remarkably consistent with themes from past assessments. Yet, in this latest assessment, additional attention is paid to the country’s evolving cyber aptitudes and to its turbulent domestic politics. more...

12th February 2018 – New York Post

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

Richard Goldberg

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

10th February 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iran sends drone into Israeli airspace one day before 1979 revolution anniversary

Amir Toumaj

In the early hours of Feb. 10, a day before the 39th anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Iran, an Iranian Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) entered Israeli airspace from Syria. more...

6th February 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

The Case for Designating Iran’s State Media

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Richard Goldberg

During the recent protests in Iran, dissidents both inside and outside the country asked the U.S. government to enforce sanctions against Tehran’s state-run media enterprise, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). more...

25th January 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: US Treasury Department reveals new details about the Taliban’s network

Thomas Joscelyn

The US Treasury Department designated six Taliban-Haqqani figures as terrorists today. Treasury's identifying information locates five of the six -- including three senior Taliban finance officials and the deputy leader of the group's military commission -- inside Pakistan. At least two of the newly-sanctioned men have ties to al Qaeda. more...

25th January 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast: A bombing, a cover-up, and a murder

Clifford D. May, Toby Dershowitz


25th January 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Iranian-backed Iraqi militias form coalition ahead of parliamentary elections

Amir Toumaj, Romany Shaker

Ahead of Iraq’s May parliamentary elections, Iranian-backed militias this month announced a coalition called al-Fatah al Mubin (Manifest Victory). It is led by Hadi al Ameri, the chief of the Badr Organization and current parliamentarian with close ties to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) - Qods Force chief Qassem Soleimani called him a “living martyr” last year. more...

17th January 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast: Busted! Iran, Turkey and the Largest Sanctions-Evasion Scheme in Modern History

Clifford D. May, Jonathan Schanzer, Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

It was likely the largest sanctions-evasion scheme in modern history, involving top state officials from both Ankara and Tehran. more...

12th January 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Designates Iranian Chief Justice

Annie Fixler , Behnam Ben Taleblu

The U.S. Treasury Department designated Ayatollah Sadegh Amoli Larijani today under non-nuclear authorities for his role in the human rights violations in Iran. As Iran’s chief justice and head of the judicial branch since August 2009, Larijani has for nearly a decade overseen the Islamic Republic’s judicial apparatus, a central component of the regime’s repression of the Iranian people. more...

11th January 2018 – The Jerusalem Post

Germany Permits Iranian Regime Mass Murderer to Flee the Country

Benjamin Weinthal

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi – considered a successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei – fled Germany on Thursday for Iran amid criminal complaints filed against him for crimes against humanity, after the cleric received medical treatment for a brain tumor. more...

11th January 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

At Least Five Iranian Protesters Die in Regime Prisons

Tzvi Kahn

At least five Iranians arrested during the ongoing protests have reportedly died in the regime’s notorious prisons. more...

10th January 2018 – Quoted by Lee Smith - RealClearInvestigations

Why Going Easy on the Mullahs Could Hurt Ordinary Iranians

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Is it true that President Trump has little choice but to stick with the Iran nuclear deal or else risk harming poor and middle-class Iranians who would be most hurt by reimposed sanctions? more...

10th January 2018 – Quoted by Aaron Stein - War on the Rocks

Speaking Loudly and Carrying a Little Stick: The Myopic U.S. Debate about Iran

Mark Dubowitz, Reuel Marc Gerecht

Following a political miscalculation on both sides of its political spectrum, Iran in the first days of the year experienced a large wave of protests in more than 80 cities. The street demonstrations have begun to wane in recent days, although widespread reports of anti-regime slogans and continued economic challenges have prompted questions about whether the drop-off in public protests is a pyrrhic victory for the regime. more...

10th January 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran Spends $16 Billion Annually to Support Terrorists and Rogue Regimes

David Adesnik

“Leave Gaza, leave Lebanon, my life for Iran,” chanted a crowd of protesters at Tehran University. “Leave Syria, think of us!” demanded others. more...

9th January 2018 – Politico

On Iran, Trump Should Be Like Reagan

Richard Goldberg

In just three days, President Donald Trump must once again decide what to do about the much-debated Iran nuclear deal. more...

9th January 2018 – Quoted by Asa Fitch - The Wall Street Journal

Iran’s Khamenei Recognizes Protesters’ Grievances

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday said citizens had the right to voice their legitimate concerns, acknowledging for the first time the grievances of protesters taking part in the biggest wave of demonstrations in the country this decade. more...

9th January 2018 – Quoted by Erin Cunningham - The Washington Post

Iran’s leader blames U.S. for unrest but says public demands ‘must be answered’

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday that people have genuine grievances that should be addressed by the government, even as he blamed foreign powers for a wave of protests that hit Iran in recent weeks. more...

9th January 2018 – Foreign Podicy

Podcast - Upheaval in Iran: Causes and Consequences

Clifford D. May, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Behnam Ben Taleblu

Protests have been shaking the Islamic Republic of Iran. Foreign Podicy host Cliff May is joined by FDD senior fellow, Reuel Marc Gerecht, and FDD senior Iran analyst, Behnam Ben Taleblu, to discuss what this upheaval means, where it could lead, and how the U.S. and its Western counterparts should respond. more...


Clifford D. May

Founder and President

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior Vice President

Michael Ledeen

Freedom Scholar

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Senior Fellow

cia, iran, iraq

John Hannah

Senior Counselor

Benjamin Weinthal

Research Fellow

Emanuele Ottolenghi

Senior Fellow

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Research Fellow

Amir Toumaj

Research Analyst


24th March 2017 - 10:00 AM

Keeping Iran in Check: How to Combat Iran’s Illicit Activities

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies hosted a breakfast conversation on Friday, March 24 from 10:00am to 11:00am, titled Keeping Iran in Check: How to Combat Iran’s Illicit Activities. The conversation featured the Founder and President of the Institute for Science and International Security David Albright; FDD’s CEO Mark Dubowitz; and Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Brian Katulis.

12th February 2016 - 6:03 PM

Rising Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia: Geopolitical and Energy Security Implications

The latest increase in tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia raises questions about the potential for further instability in the region and possible oil supply disruptions. These risks are most apparent in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, home both to more than half of the nation’s oil production and a Shia majority. The panel discussion will focus on how these developments are impacting U.S. national and energy security interests at a time when Iran sanctions are being lifted, allowing Tehran to export its petroleum, further adding to an oversupplied global oil market.