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Analysis & Commentary - Iran Project

Iran Project Media Articles

23rd April 2018 – Fox News

Iran spreads lies claiming America supports terrorists after US-led attack on Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran has been filling the airwaves and the Internet with anti-American lies, slander and ridiculous conspiracy theories since the U.S., Britain and France launched missile strikes on Syria April 14 in response to dictator Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons to kill his own citizens more...

23rd April 2018 – Politico

How Macron can win over Trump on Iran

Richard Goldberg

French President Emmanuel Macron comes to Washington this week with two important items on his agenda: keep American troops in Syria and keep U.S. President Donald Trump in the Iran nuclear deal. Macron will have a tough sell to an American president who’s made clear he wants out of both. His only chance is to meet Trump in the middle, giving him a political win at home that serves French interests at the same time. more...

18th April 2018 – The Washington Times

Middle East missions to accomplish

Clifford D. May

Can we at least agree that President Trump’s decision to strike three chemical weapons facilities owned and operated by Bashar al-Assad – vassal of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia – was consistent with American values? more...

18th April 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

Use Iran Sanctions to Stop Assad

Mark Dubowitz, Richard Goldberg

Since the weekend military strike against chemical-weapons sites in Syria, the debate in Washington has centered on whether the strike went far enough. But policy makers should consider another question of equal importance: Is the U.S. prepared to cut off the financial lifelines that keep Bashar Assad in power? more...

13th April 2018 – Foreign Policy

Why Is Trump Going Soft on Hezbollah?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence is set to meet with regional leaders at the Summit of the Americas, where he should tell those assembled that it is time to launch a coordinated campaign against Hezbollah’s illicit empire in Latin America. (The Vice-President is stepping in for President Donald Trump, who abruptly cancelled his Latin America trip to oversee the U.S. response to Syria’s latest chemical attack outrage). But first, the White House has to show that it is prepared to take the lead by designating Hezbollah, a political and militant organization based in Lebanon, as a Transnational Criminal Organization under U.S. law. more...

13th April 2018 – Fortune Magazine

Commentary: How Trump Can Neutralize Assad in Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Ali-Akbar Velayati, a foreign affairs advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on Thursday, just one day after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened military action against Damascus for its latest chemical attacks. The timing of the meeting attests to the resoluteness of Iranian support to Assad, which has only intensified over the past seven years of the Syrian Civil War. As the U.S. contemplates an appropriate military response, it must not miss an opportunity to contest Iran in the most important theater to it in the Middle East. more...

12th April 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Should Sanction Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB)

Tzvi Kahn

In an interview last week with Bloomberg’s Eli Lake, Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi urged the Trump administration to sanction the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Tehran’s state-run media corporation. more...

11th April 2018 – The Hill

Iran’s currency is in free fall — time for the US to exploit it

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Richard Goldberg

The Iranian rial fell to a record low this weekend, largely in response to President Trump’s appointment of John Bolton – seen as hawkish on Iran – to serve as his national security advisor. FDD experts Richard Goldberg and Saeed Ghasseminejad argue that the administration should use Iran’s economic unrest to its advantage in shaping tougher foreign policy towards Iran – including re-imposing sanctions. more...

10th April 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

Bahraini Bank Investigations Offers Powerful Example for Treating De-listed Entities

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Varsha Koduvayur

The Bahraini government last week disclosed evidence detailing how the now-shuttered Future Bank participated in a multi-billion dollar sanctions-evasion scheme benefiting Iran. Bahrain’s foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, stated that Future Bank was involved in “supporting and funding terrorist entities and organizations” and concealed at least $7 billion in transactions from 2004 until 2015. more...

9th April 2018 – New York Post

What to do about Syria — and its chief accomplice, Iran

Richard Goldberg

Within hours of learning that Bashar al-Assad launched another horrific chemical-weapons attack on his own people, President Trump tweeted there’d be a “big price to pay.” He should follow his instincts by holding Assad accountable, increasing his leverage over Vladimir Putin and breaking Iran’s strategic foothold in Syria. more...

3rd April 2018 – Co-authored by Ray Takeyh - The Washington Post

Why Iran won’t rush to a bomb if Trump pulls out of the nuclear deal

Reuel Marc Gerecht

With John Bolton’s appointment as national security adviser, the odds have significantly risen that President Trump will abandon his predecessor’s nuclear deal with Iran. But there’s no need for hysteria. If Trump abandons the deal, the Islamic Republic still isn’t likely to run amok, ramping up its nuclear program and killing American soldiers in the Middle East. The calculated caution of Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, will probably win out. His tortoise-beats-the-hare approach to his country’s nuclear quest will be reinforced by the wild card that surely scares the mullahs the most: Trump. more...

2nd April 2018 – BG (Res.) Professor Jacob Nagel - FDD Research Memo

Monitoring Iranian Weaponization Activities: Another Crucial Flaw of the Nuclear Deal

The nuclear agreement has emboldened the Islamic Republic. Since signing the deal in the summer of 2015, Iran’s behavior around the world and especially in the Middle East has become more aggressive. more...

2nd April 2018 – Foreign Policy

Trump Can’t Afford to Forget About Iraq

John Hannah

In January, with an eye toward national elections on May 12, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi stunned many observers when he agreed to a political alliance with a group representing the country’s most hard-line Shiite militias — some of them designated by the United States for terrorism, all of them loyal instruments of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). more...

1st April 2018 – The Wall Street Journal

Europe Will Now Decide if the Iran Deal Survives

Mark Dubowitz

If you heard a series of loud booms on March 22, they probably came from the exploding heads of many in the American and European political elite, following the appointment of John Bolton as White House national security adviser. With the ascension of this “hawk,” President Obama’s nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic of Iran appears to be on life support. more...

31st March 2018 – The Jerusalem Post

Austrian bank in Iran freezes business fearing U.S. sanctions

Benjamin Weinthal

Austria’s Oberbank, which, as a result of the 2015 nuclear deal became the first European bank to enter Iran’s financial system, announced it has not moved forward with business transactions in the Islamic Republic because of US sanctions. more...

29th March 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

UN Extends Mandate of Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran

Tzvi Kahn

The UN Human Rights Council last week passed a resolution extending the mandate of the special rapporteur on human rights in Iran by one year. The measure, which cleared the global body by a vote of 21 to 7 with 19 countries abstaining, reflects a recognition that Tehran’s domestic repression constitutes an ongoing problem. At the same time, the large number of abstentions and opposing votes suggests that a significant percentage of the international community remains willing to overlook or deny the reality of Iran’s abysmal record on human rights. more...

26th March 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

Iran’s Cyber Capabilities Expanded throughout Nuclear Talks

Annie Fixler , Behnam Ben Taleblu

The U.S. Treasury and Justice Departments took combined action Friday to designate and indict the Iranian firm Mabna Institute, as well as nine of its contractors responsible for “a coordinated campaign of cyber intrusions.” Between 2013 and 2017, these entities hacked hundreds of universities, private companies, and government agencies in the U.S. and around the world. The four-year campaign to steal billions of dollars’ worth of intellectual property attests to Iran’s evolving cyber capabilities. more...

23rd March 2018 – New York Daily News

With John Bolton, the Iran deal ‘nixers’ have an upper hand over the ‘fixers’

Mark Dubowitz

My long-standing hope for a fix to the fatal flaws of Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal may have just gone on life support with the appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s national security adviser. While we are both strong critics of the deal, Bolton and I have dueled it out in Op-Ed pages on what to do about it. more...

1st March 2018 – The Australian

Australia must not be duped into softening its stance on Iran

Jonathan Schanzer, Mark Dubowitz

China and North Korea topped the list of mutual security concerns last week when Malcolm Turnbull met US President Donald Trump in Washington. 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...

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