Analysis & Commentary

Policy Briefs

26th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Syria Chemical Weapons Sanctions Send Clear Message

Alex Entz

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Monday designated 271 Syrians in response to Bashar al-Assad’s use of sarin nerve gas in the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4.

24th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Obama Administration Dropped Charges against Iranian Procurement Agents

Orde Kittrie

A bombshell article published Monday in Politico describes how the Obama administration dropped charges against key members of Iran’s proliferation procurement network, infuriating Justice Department officials and undermining the U.S.’s ability to detect and deter Iranian cheating –...

24th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

North Korea Takes another American Hostage

Anthony Ruggiero

North Korea detained an American academic on Saturday as he was preparing to leave the country, joining two other Americans already serving harsh sentences there. His capture is part of a pattern for Pyongyang, which uses Americans as bargaining chips in its standoff with Washington.

21st April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Presidential Election and the Role of Women

Tzvi Kahn

More than 130 women and nearly 1,500 men registered to run in the Iranian presidential election next month. But on Thursday, Iran’s Guardian Council – an unelected, 12-member body that screens candidates for loyalty to the regime’s Islamist ideology – rejected all of the women and...

18th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Sanctions Brother of Qassem Soleimani

Tzvi Kahn

The Treasury Department on Thursday added two Iranian human rights abusers to its sanctions list, marking the first new human rights-related designations since 2014. The move reflects a renewed U.S. effort to target key drivers of Tehran’s domestic repression, which the Obama...

17th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Turkey’s Inconclusive Referendum

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

Turkey held a historic referendum on Sunday to decide whether to grant the country’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan his long-standing desire to transform the government from a parliamentary system to one heavily centralized around his own presidency.

11th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

CEO of Iranian Airline to Buy Boeing Jets Has Ties to IRGC

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Boeing announced last week it would sell 30 B737 Max aircraft to Aseman Airlines – a government-owned carrier that is Iran’s third-largest – in a deal valued at around $3 billion. The deal appears to be permitted under the 2015 nuclear agreement, which lifted U.S. sanctions against the...

7th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Hardline Iranian Cleric Announces Presidential Run

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

A hardline Iranian political coalition announced its updated slate of candidates Thursday for the May presidential election. Radical cleric Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi emerged at the top of the list and formally declared his candidacy.

7th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Hezbollah Tests Lebanon’s Limits with “Drug Raid”

David Daoud

Armed, masked Hezbollah units carried out an unprecedented police raid Friday night in the Dahiyeh, the extremist group’s south Beirut stronghold. The black-clad militia members targeted what they claimed were a number of drug warehouses.

5th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Xi’s Visit is Chance to Deliver Tough Message to China

Anthony Ruggiero

China’s President Xi Jinping will travel to Florida on Thursday and Friday for a summit that President Donald Trump has warned will be “very difficult.” On the agenda are likely to be North Korea, Beijing’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, and Chinese trade restrictions...

5th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

New Legislation Fixes Critical Flaw in Iran Sanctions

Annie Fixler

A group of former Obama administration officials raised concerns last week over new Senate legislation targeting Iran’s ongoing non-nuclear misbehavior. The officials claim the bill is harmful because it requires the president to certify that the relevant Iranian entities do not support or...

3rd April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Gets a Raise

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Iranian parliament passed two pieces of legislation this month with wide-reaching repercussions for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

3rd April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Trump Offers Sisi Praise, but Unclear What Else

Oren Kessler

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi traveled to Washington on Monday for his first-ever White House meeting, his first meeting with President Donald Trump since the November election and the first such visit by an Egyptian head of state in nearly eight years.

30th March 2017 - FDD's Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance

Terror Finance Briefing Book

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

The Terror Finance Briefing Book is a new product of FDD’s Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF) created to help policymakers better understand how terrorist groups fund their operations so that they may be targeted more effectively. This publication will compile financial...

30th March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

EU Delists Syrian Tycoon, Highlighting Global Sanctions Pitfalls

Yaya J. Fanusie, Alex Entz

The European Union’s second-highest court nullified sanctions last week on a businessman with Syrian and Russian citizenship for his role in aiding both the Islamic State (IS) and the Assad regime.

29th March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Congress Ups Ante with New Iran Sanctions

Tzvi Kahn

House and Senate lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would increase sanctions on Iran for its ballistic missile tests and other malign behavior.

28th March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

U.S. Arrests Senior Turkish Banker for Sanctions-Busting

Aykan Erdemir, Merve Tahiroglu

U.S. authorities arrested Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy CEO of Turkey’s public lender Halkbank, upon his arrival in New York, according to news reports today.

24th March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Mubarak Freed, Egypt Shrugs

Oren Kessler

Hosni Mubarak was freed Friday from a military hospital in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, six years after massive crowds ousted him in the seminal episode of the Arab Spring.

22nd March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Turkish Organizations Under Fire for Alleged Hamas Support

Jonathan Schanzer

Turkey’s ties to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas are once again in the spotlight. Israeli authorities claimed this week that two charities with close ties to the ruling elite in Ankara were providing financial and military support to the Gaza-based Islamist faction.

22nd March 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

A Temporary Thaw in Egyptian-PA Relations

Grant Rumley

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi hosted his Palestinian Authority counterpart Mahmoud Abbas this week in Cairo for the first official summit between the two leaders in nearly a year.


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