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Analysis & Commentary - Behnam Ben Taleblu

Behnam Ben Taleblu's Latest Articles

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...

17th December 2017 – Fox News

Iranian missiles going to rebels in Yemen pose a danger to our ally Saudi Arabia

Behnam Ben Taleblu

The debate about whether Iran is providing ballistic missiles to Houthi rebels in Yemen has been ended, thanks to U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, who has unveiled components of Iranian missiles recovered from target sites in Saudi Arabia fired on by the Houthis. more...

5th December 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Reported link between Houthi and Iranian ballistic missiles

Behnam Ben Taleblu

At the strategic level, if Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels is confirmed, it could be seen as an indicator Tehran’s increased tolerance for risk in a distant conflict theater, one which has sought to weaken Saudi Arabia by any means possible. more...

9th November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Backs Saudi Claim about Iranian Missile Support to Yemeni Rebels

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Alexandra N. Gutowski

Regional tensions escalated as Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for an attempted missile strike on its capital by Yemeni rebels. On November 4, Saudi defenses intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels (also known as Ansar Allah) at a Riyadh airport. more...

8th November 2017 – The National Interest

Iran’s New Missile Cap Offer Is a Total Sham

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Last week, the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps declared that the country’s Supreme Leader had mandated "cap" on the range of Iran’s surface-to-surface ballistic missile force of 2,000 kilometers. more...

8th November 2017 – Foreign Affairs

Kurd Your Enthusiasm

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

On October 16, the world woke to footage of the Iraqi army barreling toward Kirkuk, several hundred miles north of Baghdad. Their mission was to reclaim the city, but not from jihadists; rather, they planned to win it back from the Kurds. Three years ago, as the Islamic State (ISIS) tore into Iraq, the country’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) fought back against the fundamentalists and captured Kirkuk for itself. more...

2nd November 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

House Passes Sanctions Targeting Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Tyler Stapleton

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation targeting the Islamic Republic of Iran’s ballistic missile program and its enablers. The bill – H.R. 1698, or “The Iran Ballistic Missiles and International Sanctions Enforcement Act” – received bipartisan support, passing by a vote of 423-2. While the legislation was met with tirades by Iran’s purportedly “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani, who promised to grow his country’s ballistic missile arsenal, the House measure opens the door to more robust ballistic missile sanctions, which Washington will need to impose if it is going to get tough on Tehran. more...

1st November 2017 – The Hill

Iran’s supreme leader has a business empire — the US must sanction it

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu and Research Fellow Saeed Ghasseminejad discuss the need to have a high-profile determination to target EIKO (Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order) – an Iranian holding company owned by the Supreme Leader that has a stake in nearly every sector of the Iranian economy. more...

5th October 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Fearing an Independent Kurdistan, Erdogan Travels to Tehran

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Iran on Wednesday for meetings with the country’s supreme leader, president, and other regime officials. more...

28th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

FAQ after allegations of another ballistic missile test by Tehran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iran watchers and missile experts may be going ballistic this week. Here’s why. more...

28th September 2017 – FDD's Long War Journal

FAQ after allegations of another ballistic missile test by Tehran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Getting the right answers on allegations surrounding an alleged Iranian ballistic missile launch requires asking the right questions. The following eight questions make sense of the English and Persian language news reporting surrounding the Khorramshahr ballistic missile. more...

18th September 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Rouhani Will Seek to Divide the West at the UN General Assembly

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will deliver his fifth annual address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) this Wednesday. Rouhani is likely to emphasize two related themes that are key to the Iranian strategy of dividing the United States from its partners in Europe with regard to addressing the nuclear threat from Iran. more...

8th September 2017 – The Hill

Nikki Haley shows blinders may finally be off on US-Iran policy

Behnam Ben Taleblu

In her recent speech, Ambassador Haley signaled that the US's previously narrow focus on Iran's nuclear endeavors could rightfully expand to include all of Iran's malign behavior. more...

25th August 2017 – U.S. News & World Report

Why Iran’s New Defense Minister Doesn’t Change Much

Behnam Ben Taleblu

For the first time in over 20 years, Iran has a Defense Minister from its national military, the Artesh. Despite the new minister's background, hopes that he can transform the ministry and Iran polices are limited and sorely misplaced. more...

14th August 2017 – FDD Research Memo

Iran’s Compliance with UNSCR 2231: Alleged Violations Must Be Addressed

Behnam Ben Taleblu

UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2231 implements the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and imposes missile- and arms-related restrictions. Little-noticed biannual reporting by the UN Secretary General alleges that Iran is repeatedly violating these non-nuclear provisions. Thus far, the United States has responded to such violations with sanctions and designations of Iranian and foreign entities supporting Tehran’s ballistic missile development. However, the UN and its member states have not responded. More must be done to investigate allegations of noncompliance and to punish violations of the resolution. more...

31st July 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

Making Sense of Iran’s Latest Satellite-Launch Vehicle Test

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Late last week, Iran formally inaugurated the Imam Khomeini Space Launch Center by conducting the second test of its “Simorgh” rocket, a satellite-launch vehicle (SLV). This was Iran’s first SLV test in 2017 and the second overall test of the “Simorgh,” which is Persian for “phoenix.” more...

28th July 2017 – The Hill

How Trump can show Iran that America will not be intimidated

Behnam Ben Taleblu


20th July 2017 – FDD Policy Brief

New Sanctions Highlight the Need to Counter Iran’s Non-Nuclear Threats

Tyler Stapleton, Behnam Ben Taleblu

In a joint effort on Tuesday, the Departments of State, Treasury, and Justice released new designations of Iranian, Chinese, and Turkish procurement networks that have facilitated material support for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the country’s ballistic missile program. more...

6th July 2017 – The Hill

The danger of North Korea and Iran — and how Trump should tackle it

Anthony Ruggiero, Behnam Ben Taleblu


28th June 2017 – The National Interest

Should Anyone Care about the Iranian Missile Strikes?

Behnam Ben Taleblu

An emboldened Iran may feel tempted to match its covert actions with more overt missile strikes. more...