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Analysis & Commentary - Iran Project

Iran Project Media Articles

12th October 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

IMF and World Bank Predict Economic Slowdown in Iran

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The IMF and World Bank this month released data predicting Iran’s economy will shrink over the next two years. This data follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement in May to leave the Iran nuclear deal and to re-impose U.S. sanctions. The first round of renewed sanctions took effect in August, with another round coming in early November. more...

10th October 2018 – Axios

U.S. and India headed toward clash over Iranian oil sanctions

Behnam Ben Taleblu

India, a country the Trump administration has called “a key security and economic partner,” will soon test U.S. resolve on Iran. Two Indian firms are reportedly seeking to purchase Iranian oil in November. Should the imports go through, they would contravene the stated U.S. aim of bringing Iran’s petroleum exports “as close to zero as possible” by Nov. 4. more...

5th October 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Controversial Cultural Attaché Leaves Algeria

Romany Shaker

On September 22, Iran’s cultural attaché in Algeria Amir Mousavi announced he would leave his position after almost four years in the country. The announcement followed accusations by Algerian activists and former officials against the Iranian diplomat over his alleged role in recruiting thousands of Shiite Muslims in Algeria on behalf of Iran. Mousavi’s departure highlights Iran’s persistent and unwelcome attempts to expand its influence in North Africa. more...

26th September 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief — co-authored by Caleb Weiss

U.S. Should Parallel UK Designations of Dangerous Iran-Backed Militias

Varsha Koduvayur

Recently, the Arab League formally condemned Iran’s interference in Bahrain, citing the Islamic Republic’s support for domestic terrorist groups in the kingdom. Iran-backed terror cells have waged a grinding insurgency in Bahrain since 2011, prompting Western countries to take note and even designate some militias as terror entities. But the United States and its allies have yet to coordinate these actions. more...

15th September 2018 – National Review

The U.S. Should Sanction Iran’s Key Slush Fund and Its Brutal Custodian

Tzvi Kahn

At first, he couldn’t identify the sound. But Amir Atiabi, an inmate in Iran’s Gohardasht Prison, was curious. Over the course of several nights in 1988, he recalled, “strange noises that sounded like the dropping of cooking-gas containers” reverberated from trucks in the jail’s loading dock. Each time, he marked the date on his calendar. On some days, the sound echoed through his cell as many as 50 to 55 times. more...

12th September 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

New Reports of Abuse Reinforce Case for Sanctions on Iran’s Prisons

Tzvi Kahn

An exiled Iranian Dervish activist accused Tehran on Saturday of violating its own prison regulations by allowing seven Dervish women to suffer “appalling” conditions in jail. “The Dervish women are weak physically after having been beaten before and after their transfer to the prison,” said Alireza Roshan, whose community practices a form of Islam considered deviant by the clerical regime. more...

30th August 2018 – Bloomberg — Co-authored by Ellen R. Wald

Making Iran Sanctions Hit Harder This Time

Behnam Ben Taleblu

While the Trump administration’s reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran earlier this month grabbed the headlines, a more significant date is Nov. 4, when the truly crippling penalties — including those on Iranian oil — are slated to return. more...

26th August 2018 – Fox News – Co-authored by Julie Lenarz

Iran’s forgotten persecuted Christian minority

Benjamin Weinthal

Iranian Christians are in dire straits in the Islamic Republic because of a new wave of regime repression that has largely not registered in the media due to the country’s economic free fall and popular uprising by a people fed up with the tyrannical nature of the regime. more...

26th August 2018 – The Hill

Iran’s Facebook operation shows that it never restrained its hackers

Annie Fixler

Facebook on Tuesday dismantled an expansive, covert Iranian influence operation aimed at American, British, Latin American, and Middle Eastern audiences. Posing as independent news and civil society organizations, state-sponsored actors created hundreds of fake Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, which were also suspended on Tuesday, and Iranian state media created dozens of counterfeit YouTube channels. more...

19th August 2018 – The New York Post — Co-authored by Ray Takeyh

How Trump can avoid falling into Iran’s ‘yap trap’

Mark Dubowitz

President Trump recently offered to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without any preconditions to discuss issues of common concern. Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei seemingly rejected this appeal, professing, “There will be no war nor will we negotiate with the US.” more...

16th August 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

Iran’s Allies in Iraq Vow to Help Tehran Skirt U.S. Sanctions

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Romany Shaker

Under pressure from pro-Iranian factions, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is backing away from his initial commitment to comply with U.S. sanctions on Iran. Abadi’s reversal illustrates both the weakness of Abadi’s caretaker government and the depth of Tehran’s influence in Iraq. more...

15th August 2018 – Forbes

Blockchain Authoritarianism: The Regime In Iran Goes Crypto

Yaya J. Fanusie

Iran recently announced plans to develop its own national cryptocurrency in order to circumvent U.S. sanctions. This intention to create blockchain-based infrastructure for the country’s banking sector comes as the Trump administration has reimposed sanctions that the U.S. suspended as part of the Iran nuclear deal. more...

15th August 2018 – The Washington TImes

Imagining the Islamic Republic

Clifford D. May

Last week, the European Union issued a statement on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear weapons deal concluded with Iran’s rulers, from which President Trump withdrew three months ago. more...

14th August 2018 – Axios

Iran’s increased missile testing an apparent rebuke to U.S. pressure

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran’s Defense Minister unveiled a new short-range ballistic missile called the Fateh Mobin, or “manifest conqueror,” on Monday. Initially designed for surface-to-surface combat, these missiles have been upgraded several times and include anti-ship variants. more...

10th July 2018 – FDD Policy Brief

UN Appoints New Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran

Tzvi Kahn

The UN Human Rights Council on Friday appointed Javaid Rehman, a British-Pakistani lawyer and academic, as the new special rapporteur for human rights in Iran. Rehman assumes the role as the Islamic Republic continues to endure widespread protests stemming in part from the brutal repression that Rehman’s predecessors have punctiliously documented. more...

5th July 2018 – Iran Wire

The US Must Put Minister of Justice on Sanctions List

Tzvi Kahn

In February 2018, as Iran’s clerical regime continued to suppress nationwide protests, Tehran’s minister of justice ascended the dais of the UN Human Rights Council and accused Western countries of hypocrisy. more...

5th July 2018 – Real Clear World

The Rial’s Fall Shakes Tehran

Saeed Ghasseminejad

A small number of merchants in Tehran on June 24 protested against the rapid depreciation of the rial, the Iranian currency. One day later, that small protest turned into the largest demonstration in Tehran since the Green Revolution of 2009, which brought hundreds of thousands into the streets. more...

27th June 2018 – FDD's Long War Journal

Confirmed: First evidence of Iranian-controlled militia involvement in southern Syria

The Iraqi Shia militia Liwa Zulfiqar, which is controlled by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, released a picture of its forces in the southern Syria town of Busra al Harir. The photo offers first confirmed evidence of the Iraqi militia’s – and thereby Iran’s – involvement in the current Syrian offensive on rebel-held areas in southern Syria. more...

22nd June 2018 – Business Insider

Iran’s supreme leader torpedoed his country’s best chance to get off the terror financing blacklist

Toby Dershowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran's own Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, may have just torpedoed his own country's campaign to be removed from the blacklist of states who cannot or will not prevent money laundering and the financing of terrorism. more...

22nd June 2018 – The Hill

US should sanction Iran’s notorious ‘hanging judge’

Tzvi Kahn

In mid-May, Iranian judge Abolghassem Salavati told a British-Iranian prisoner to expect a new conviction on fresh charges of “propaganda against the state.” Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, whom Salavati first sentenced to five years in prison in 2016 on equally specious espionage allegations, constitutes one of more than a dozen known dual and foreign nationals — including at least seven U.S. citizens and permanent residents — languishing in Iran’s notorious jails for putatively seeking to overthrow the Islamist regime. more...

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