Analysis & Commentary

9th January 2016 - Quoted by Steven Lee Myers and Nicholas Kulish - The New York Times

‘Broken System’ Allows ISIS to Profit From Looted Antiquities

Acting on a tip, the police raided four homes in eastern Bulgaria, looking for contraband that regularly traverses this country on the way to markets in Western Europe and America. In one rusting shed behind an apartment block here, they found a cache of looted antiquities: 19 classical...

9th January 2016 - Quoted by Ron Kampeas - The Times of Israel

Saudi-Iran Crisis is Latest Reality Check for Nuke Deal Backers

Mark Dubowitz

Just months after the conclusion of a nuclear deal with Iran that the Obama administration hoped would help defuse a volatile region, the Middle East seems ready to spiral out of control.

8th January 2016 - Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

PA’s Uncertain Future Creates Angst on Both Sides of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Jonathan Schanzer

The ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism that has plagued Israel since last fall has also brought to the fore the Palestinians’ frustration with their own leadership. While Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has been blamed for inciting violence against Israelis, many...

8th January 2016 - Quoted by Taimur Khan - The National

United States Still Considering Fresh Sanctions on Iran

Mark Dubowitz

The Obama administration is still weighing whether it will impose fresh sanctions on Iran over ballistic missile tests conducted late last year, after preparing and then suddenly delaying the new measures last week.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Spain’s High Court Awards Israeli University $100,000 in Discrimination Lawsuit

Benjamin Weinthal

Spain’s Supreme Court awarded Israel’s Ariel University over $100,000 in damages after it was illegally excluded from a scientific competition by Spain’s Housing Ministry, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Somalia Severs Ties with Tehran as Tensions Mount Following Attack on Saudi Embassy

Amir Toumaj

Somalia ordered all Iranian diplomats to leave its borders within 72 hours, joining a growing number of countries who are severing relations with the Islamic Republic amid its escalation with Saudi Arabia, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Sean Savage - JNS

Sound of Silence: Iranian-Saudi Tension Highlights U.S. Pullback from the Region

David Andrew Weinberg

Amid heightened tensions between the two most powerful Muslim nations in the Middle East, experts say the loudest sound might be American silence.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

After Bomb Test, North Korea, Iran Continue Illicit Nuke Cooperation

One day after North Korea claimed to have successfully tested a miniaturized hydrogen bomb, lawmakers and regional experts are warning that Pyongyang and Tehran are continuing an illicit clandestine partnership enabling the rogue nations to master nuclear technology.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

This Was the Moment Obama Decided Not to Intervene in Syria

Tony Badran

US President Barack Obama decided to delay launchign airstrikes against the Syrian government in 2013 during a walk in the White House garden with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, according to an in-depth profile of McDonough from Politico Magine's Glenn Thrush.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Jeff Seldin - Voice of America

Killing the Terror Group That Won’t Die: Islamic State

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

There is growing concern among the ranks of U.S. officials that it could take more than one war to ultimately defeat and destroy the Islamic State terror group.

7th January 2016 - Quoted by Shane Dixon Kavanaugh - Vocativ

Meltdown Between Saudi Arabia And Iran Roils Unstable Middle East

David Andrew Weinberg

Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran continue to escalate, ever since the Kingdom executed a prominent Shiite sheik over the weekend, threatening to further destabilize the Middle East.

6th January 2016 - Quoted by Pamela Engel - Business Insider

Rebuilding Cities Reclaimed From ISIS Will Cost an Exorbitant Amount of Money

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

A US-led coalition and ground forces declared victory in Ramadi, Iraq, after they drove ISIS militants out of the city last week.

6th January 2016 - Quoted by Brent Scher - The Washington Free Beacon

Joe Sestak: ‘Iran Has Met Its End Of The Deal’

Mark Dubowitz

Democratic Senate candidate Joe Sestak said this week that “Iran has met its end of the deal” despite repeated ballistic missile tests that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions.

6th January 2016 - Jamie Dettmer - Voice of America

Islamic State Militants Target Saudi Arabia

Jonathan Schanzer

Iran isn’t alone in issuing dire threats against Saudi Arabia — the Islamic State has ratcheted up a propaganda campaign against the Gulf kingdom’s ruling family. `

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Natasha Bertrand - Business Insider

‘Provoke at Your Peril’: The Obama Administration is Sending a ‘Message’ to Saudi Arabia

Tony Badran

Saudi Arabia cut off all diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday, after Iranian protesters ransacked and set fire to the Saudi embassy in Tehran amid a row over the kingdom's execution of a prominent Shi'ite cleric.

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Louis Jacobson- Politifact

New Video or Not, Clinton Claim About ISIS Using Trump in Video is Still False

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

Was Hillary Clinton predicting the future when she said that ISIS was using Donald Trump in recruitment videos for the Islamic State? Not quite, but her comment at a recent debate is back in the news. Readers asked us to check it out.

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Justin Salhani - Think Progress

Saudi Arabia ‘Torpedoes’ American Middle East Policy With Execution Of Shia Cleric

David Andrew Weinberg

Tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran has long festered via regional proxy wars, but the execution of a prominent Saudi Shia cleric by Riyadh over the weekend and the subsequent reactions could affect the United States’ interests in the Middle East.

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Babak Dehghanpisheh and Bozorgmehr Sharafedin - Reuters

As Cold War With Saudi Sharpens, Iran’s Guards Deliver Warning

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was quick to condemn the execution of Saudi cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, stating: "Without a doubt, the hated Saudi regime will pay a price for this shameful act."

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Matt Piotrowski- The Fuse

Saudi Arabia-Iran Conflict, Rising Middle East Tensions Add to Oil Market Uncertainty

David Andrew Weinberg

The oil market’s initial reaction to the sharp rise in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran has been muted, but the events are still troublesome because they heighten tensions in an already volatile region.

5th January 2016 - Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Islamic State’s Thirst for Oil Highlighted by Attacks in Libya

Thomas Joscelyn

The Islamic State’s main branch in Libya launched attacks Monday near a key oil export terminal on the Mediterranean, the latest in a growing offensive that national security sources say underscores the terrorist group’s desire to seize lucrative territory in the war-torn North African...


Tony Badran

Research Fellow, Levant

Mark Dubowitz

Executive Director

Aykan Erdemir

Senior Fellow


Yaya J. Fanusie

Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance - Director of Analysis

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