Iran Project

Iran Project

Iran Project

To counter the threat Iran represents to America and its allies, FDD conducts detailed policy research, appears in print, online and broadcast media, and develops actionable policy recommendations. FDD's Iran team includes some of Washington's top experts on sanctions, illicit finance, nonproliferation, terrorism, human rights and Iran's domestic power apparatus.

FDD pushes for effective verification of the flawed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear accord, as well as holding Tehran accountable on its illicit ballistic missile program, the network of armed groups it supports, its illicit financial activities, worldwide media operations, and domestic repression.   

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz is an expert on Iran’s global network, its nuclear, terrorist, missile and cyber, and is widely recognized as a key influencer in shaping sanctions policies. Senior Fellow Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow and former CIA Iran analyst, examines the inner workings of the Islamic Republic’s power structures, while Emanuele Ottolenghi tracks Iranian arms shipments to the war in Syria. Research Analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu tracks Iran’s missile program, while Amir Toumaj follows Tehran-backed militia in the Syrian war.

“As Iran continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons, FDD has emerged as one of the most innovative thinks tanks in Washington when it comes to developing effective policies to stop the Islamic Republic before it’s too late. The kind of time-sensitive research, analysis and expertise that FDD provides the Congress is simply invaluable.”
– Former Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL)

“In particular, FDD has been one the most committed and creative voices in Washington regarding the Iran nuclear issue and specifically Iran sanctions. Your ideas inspired important components of the sanctions bill I authored and passed last Congress when I was Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and your ideas continue to enrich my thinking about sanctions as we move forward. My recent conversation in my office with Mark Dubowitz was one of the most enlightening I’ve had regarding Iran sanctions and oil markets.”
– Representative Howard Berman (D-CA)
The U.S. Should Sanction Iran’s Key Slush Fund and Its Brutal Custodian

15th September 2018 – The 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...

Analysis & Commentary

12th September 2018 – FDD's CSIF Policy Brief

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

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...

From the Hill: