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Analysis & Commentary - Behnam Ben Taleblu

Behnam Ben Taleblu's Latest Articles

27th March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

A Fruit Vendor’s Self-Immolation and the Neglect of Arab-Iranians

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Tragedy struck Iran’s Arab-majority province of Khuzestan on Sunday as a fruit vendor died after self-immolating outside the local municipality building. Like Mohamed Bouazizi – the Tunisian fruit seller whose death sparked the Arab Spring – Younes Asakereh’s suicide was an act of defiance in response to authorities who denied him his livelihood. In contrast to Tunisia, however, Asakereh’s suicide sparked no national revolution. Instead, his death will likely be yet another example of regime neglect over a strategic but forgotten province. more...

11th March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Iran Fires Cruise Missile Through Sanctions Loophole

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian defense officials over the weekend announced the successful test-firing of the Soumar, a new and indigenously produced land-attack cruise missile. more...

3rd March 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Bursa-Bound: Ahmadinejad’s Trip to Turkey

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Merve Tahiroglu

On February 26, an Iran Air flight landed in Istanbul carrying a prominent passenger in seat 19F: former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. more...

27th January 2015 – The National Interest

How Iran Views the P5+1 Nuke Talks

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Ahead of the June 30 deadline for a comprehensive nuclear accord with Iran, international negotiators remain puzzled by two questions: “What does Tehran want, and what will it settle for?” more...

24th January 2015 – FDD Policy Brief

Succession in Saudi; Tehran Triangulates

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Following the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz on Thursday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and former president, Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani quickly offered their condolences. more...

24th January 2015 – The Long War Journal

Iranian Political and Military Leaders Laud Qods Force General Killed in Syria

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Political and Military elites of the Islamic Republic weigh-in on the death of Brigadier General Mohammad-Ali Allah-Dadi, the IRGC-QF member killed in Syria by an Israeli helicopter attack.Their commentary indicates a desire to establish deterrence, at least rhetorically, and tout their globalist message pertaining to the Islamic Revolution. more...

1st January 2015 – National Interest

Iran’s Greatest Fear: “American Islam”

Behnam Ben Taleblu

The Islamic State rages next door and the U.S. Congress is threatening new sanctions, but Iranian officials remain preoccupied by a different challenge, one that has haunted them for decades: “American Islam.” more...

26th December 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Reading Washington’s New Cuba Policy in Tehran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

President Barack Obama’s overturning of Washington’s longstanding commercial and diplomatic isolation of Cuba earlier this month has grabbed the attention of another country chafing under U.S. sanctions: the Islamic Republic of Iran. more...

9th December 2014 – War on The Rocks

Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: A Troika of Realists

Behnam Ben Taleblu

There was once a different Iran. At its helm was not a mullah but a monarch — secular, allied with the West, and committed to his country’s development and modernization. more...

23rd October 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

The Passing of Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Another man of the cloth has perished. Ayatollah Mohammad Reza Mahdavi-Kani, the Chairman of Iran’s Assembly of Experts, passed away this Tuesday while hospitalized with a coma in Tehran. more...

23rd October 2014 – The National Interest

The Long Shadow of the Iran-Iraq War

Behnam Ben Taleblu

"No single event has defined Iran’s revolutionary ideology, politics, perspectives on society, and security more than the Iran-Iraq War." more...

15th October 2014 – The Montreal Gazette

Canada Should Think Twice Before Re-Engaging With Iran

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Sheryl Saperia

In a recent op-ed, Sergio Marchi and Ken Lewis assert that Canadian government and industry should be preparing to re-engage with Iran. Iran’s economic landscape, they suggest, requires significant foreign investment, and Canada should oblige (“Iran wants to re-engage, Canada should start preparing” Opinion, Sept. 15). more...

10th October 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Khamenei’s Expanding Nuclear Redlines

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is at it again. more...

22nd September 2014 – The National Interest

Détente Denied: Why Saudi Arabia and Iran Can’t Move Forward

Behnam Ben Taleblu

In a recent article on these pages, Alex Vatanka has written that, in lieu of a host of differences, there are stirrings in Tehran (seemingly prompted by President Rouhani’s foreign-policy team) that could lead to a change of policy. more...

25th August 2014 – War On The Rocks

Don’t Forget Iran’s Ballistic Missiles

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Last month, the P5+1 and Iran arranged for an extension of Joint Plan of Action (JPOA), the interim nuclear deal that was agreed to in Geneva in late 2013 and implemented in January of this year. more...

6th August 2014 – War on the Rocks

A Widening Gulf: Impediments to Saudi Rapprochement with Iran

Behnam Ben Taleblu, David Andrew Weinberg

Despite reports to the contrary, Saudi Arabia and Iran are not about to turn a corner in their 35-year-long confrontation. more...

1st August 2014 – The Long War Journal

Analysis: What the Gaza War Means for Iran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

As the war in Gaza continues, Iran's political, military, and religious calculations ascribe similar but not identical values to the ongoing conflict. The ways in which Iranian leaders codify events on the ground vary depending on their interests at home and abroad. more...

28th July 2014 – War on the Rocks

1979 Revisited: Judging the Iranian Revolution

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Everyone has his or her own judgment as to what is the enduring lesson of the Iranian Revolution. more...

25th July 2014 – FDD Policy Brief

Quds Day In Iran

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Iran’s celebration of Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) today affirmed the Islamic Republic’s continued rejection of Israel’s existence. more...

25th July 2014 – The Montreal Gazette

Remembering Zahra Kazemi and Continuing Rights Abuses in Iran

Sheryl Saperia, Behnam Ben Taleblu

This month marks the 11th anniversary of the tragic death of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. more...