Analysis & Commentary


15th December 2014 - Cited by The Tower

With Sanctions Relief Looming, Iran Prepares to Open for Business

Benjamin Weinthal, Emanuele Ottolenghi

Expecting an end to sanctions, Iranian manufacturers are preparing to open for business with the West, according to a report Friday in The New York Times.

15th December 2014 - Cited by The Tower

Hamas Delegation in Tehran Seeks to Deepen Ties with Iran, Syria

Ali Alfoneh

Hamas is seeking to mend ties with Syria and Iran according to policy brief written Thursday by Ali Alfoneh, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Alfoneh cited an interview Hamas spokesman, Osama Hamdan, gave to an Iranian news agency.

13th December 2014 - Interviewed by Jonathan Weckerle - Jungle World (Germany)

Die US-Regierung hat versagt

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Saeed Ghaseminejad ist Publizist, politischer Analyst und unter anderem Fellow der Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Während seines Studiums in Teheran war er Mitgründer der studentischen Vereinigung »Iranian liberal students and graduates«. Er lebt heute in New York. Mit der Jungle...

12th December 2014 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Can Congress stop a rotten Iran deal?

Mark Dubowitz

Mark Dubowitz, the sanctions guru at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, writes: "Lest we forget, Iran is at the negotiation table because Congress passed tough economic sanctions that hammered its economy, and many of them over the Obama administration’s objections. But Congress’...

12th December 2014 - Cited by David Blair - The Telegraph

Qatar ‘Broke Promise to US Over Guantanamo Detainee’

Qatar broke an "explicit" promise by allowing a former Guantánamo detainee who had trained with al-Qaeda to leave the country and visit Britain, a new report has found.

12th December 2014 - Cited by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

In-depth report reveals Qatar’s willful blindness to financing of global terrorist groups

David Andrew Weinberg

A report released this week demonstrates how Qatar plays a double game with the West – funding terrorist groups throughout the region while acting like an ally and responsible player on the world stage.

10th December 2014 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Hamas, Iran Rebuilding Military Ties in Tehran

Jonathan Schanzer

Leaders of the terror group Hamas traveled to Iran this week to rebuild relations with one of its top benefactors and leading weapons suppliers, according to regional experts and reports.

10th December 2014 - Cited by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Qatar Allows Money to Flow to ISIS, Other Terrorists: Report

David Andrew Weinberg

The government of Qatar continues to willfully turn a blind eye to individuals channeling money to al Qaeda-affiliated groups across the Middle East and to Islamic State extremists in Syria and Iraq, despite joining a U.S.-led military coalition battling the militant group, according to a...

10th December 2014 - Quoted by Mahmut Hamsici - BBC Türkçe

İran’daki yolsuzluk operasyonu ne anlama geliyor?

Emanuele Ottolenghi

İran'da bugünlerde ülke tarihinin en büyük yolsuzluk operasyonlarından biri yapılıyor. Operasyonda 20 kişi gözaltına alındı, 30 kişi ifadeye çağırıldı. Bu kişilerin arasında birçok üst düzey bürokrat da bulunuyor.

10th December 2014 - Cited by Jamie Dettmer - The Daily Beast

U.S. Ally Qatar Shelters Jihadi Moneymen

David Andrew Weinberg

It has been dubbed the most two-faced nation in the world, backing the U.S.-led coalition against the militants of the Islamic State while providing a permissive environment, in the words of one top American official, for terrorist financiers to operate with impunity.

9th December 2014 - The Washington Free Beacon

Congress Calls for Increased Sanctions on Hamas Allies

Jonathan Schanzer

A bipartisan delegation of foreign policy leaders in Congress are calling on the Obama administration to increase U.S. sanctions on Hamas and its allies, including the terror group’s top financier, Qatar, and its close ally, Turkey, according to a letter sent Tuesday by lawmakers to the...

9th December 2014 - Quoted by Ben Cohen - The Algemeiner

Ireland to Accept Motion to Recognize Palestinian State

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The Irish government will accept a motion proposed by the opposition Sinn Fein party on Tuesday that asks the country’s parliament to recognize a Palestinian state. The decision comes after the upper house of Ireland’s legislature passed a motion in October calling for such recognition....

9th December 2014 - Quoted by Ben Cohen - The Algemeiner

Presence of Qods Force Commander in Iraq Signals Worrying Rise of Iranian Power in Middle East

Emanuele Ottolenghi

The recent presence in Iraq of Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s terrorism-supporting Qods Force and one of the most powerful individuals in the Islamic Republic, indicates an increasing brazenness in Tehran’s conduct of foreign affairs, a leading Middle East expert told The...

9th December 2014 - Cited by David Gerstman - Legal Insurrection

Can Obama Get the Government He Wants in Israel?

Jonathan Schanzer

Last week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started the process of dissolving his government coalition to bring about new elections in March of next year.

9th December 2014 - Quoted by Mikel Ayestaran - ABC.es

General Suleimani, el verdugo iraní de los yihadistas del Estado Islámico

Ali Alfoneh

Qassem Suleimani ha dejado de ser el «comandante en la sombra», sobrenombre más usado en la prensa occidental, del régimen iraní para convertirse en el mejor argumento de la república islámica en su lucha contra el Estado Islámico (EI).

7th December 2014 - Quoted by Ariel Ben Solomon - The Jerusalem Post

Israel Strikes Against Syria May Be Linked to Iranian Activity

Tony Badran

Syria expert Eyal Zisser to ‘Post’: In the past, no one had any interest in opening up another front said Zisser adding, “Let’s hope that will happen this time."

5th December 2014 - Quoted by Jay Solomon and Peter Nicholas - The Wall Street Journal

Iran Talks Likely to Figure in Any Hillary Clinton 2016 Bid

Mark Dubowitz

Hillary Clinton has distanced herself from the Obama administration’s increasingly unpopular handling of international issues, including Syria and Russia.

5th December 2014 - Cited by Emily Cadei, Ozy

The Wonks Waging Financial War on Iran

Mark Dubowitz

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank, is small, nonpartisan and little known outside of Washington, D.C. So is its lead Iranian sanctions guru, Mark Dubowitz, a soft-spoken lawyer turned tech exec turned Middle East finance wonk.

5th December 2014 - Quoted by Shane Harris - The Daily Beast

Pro-Palestinian Group Lectured On Skirting Terror Laws

Jonathan Schanzer

The U.S. has “criminalize[d] the support of the Palestinian people,” argues a top activist, making it tricky to avoid helping ”so-called terrorist organizations.”

4th December 2014 - Cited by Adam Taylor - The Washington Post

Israel is the Latest Target for China’s ‘Panda Diplomacy’

Oren Kessler

Beijing's famous "panda diplomacy" is finally reaching Israel. This week, China announced that as long as the facility meets the standards needed for the animals, it would soon be loaning two panda bears to a zoo in Haifa.

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Ali Alfoneh

Senior Fellow

Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

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Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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