Analysis & Commentary

Policy Briefs


29th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

How the Nuclear Deal Boosted Iran’s Economy

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Last week, the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) announced a staggering 12.5 percent GDP growth rate for the most recent year on the Persian calendar, which ran from March 2016 to March 2017.

28th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

German-Turkish Relations Continue to Deteriorate

Benjamin Weinthal

The fractured Berlin-Ankara relationship has been hit by perhaps its biggest diplomatic crisis, resulting in Berlin’s decision to withdraw German forces stationed at the Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turkey, near the Syrian border, and relocate them to Jordan.

21st June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Saudi King Ousts His Crown Prince

David Andrew Weinberg

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman dismissed his heir, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, on Wednesday morning local time.

20th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Pyongyang’s Murder of U.S. Student Shows Negotiating is Pointless

Anthony Ruggiero

The death of American student Otto Warmbier was nothing less than a callous murder at the hands of North Korea’s Stalinist dictatorship. This crime should serve as a potent reminder that there is no prospect of meaningful negotiations with a regime that shows such contempt for American...

19th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Senate Bill Addresses Flaws in Iran Nuclear Deal

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Late last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill containing new sanctions against Iran.

16th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

FATF Leadership and Iranian Accountability

Toby Dershowitz

The multilateral organization that sets and enforces global anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT) standards will meet early next week to determine how it will hold Iran accountable for its continued illicit financing activities.

16th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Mattis Promises Defense Buildup Will Begin Next Year

David Adesnik

In a February address to the National Governors Association, President Donald Trump said that the first budget he submits “will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America.”

7th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Executions Continue After Rouhani’s Reelection

Tzvi Kahn

Iran has executed at least 20 people since President Hassan Rouhani’s reelection on May 19. This grim statistic offers continuity with his first term in office, which saw some 3,000 executions. It also suggests that Rouhani – notwithstanding his reputation as a moderate – remains...

5th June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Distinction between Hezbollah and the “Lebanese State” now Meaningless

Tony Badran

At the conclusion of President Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. and the Saudis issued a joint statement outlining shared positions. The last article in their statement addressed Lebanon and stressed “the importance of supporting the Lebanese state,” specifically in...

2nd June 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

In New North Korea Sanctions, China Escapes

Anthony Ruggiero

The U.S. Treasury Department yesterday sanctioned nine entities and three individuals. The sanctions cover a wide range of North Korea’s activities—weapons procurement, intelligence activities, cyber activities, oil imports, and coal and zinc exports—but they do not include Chinese...

24th May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Religious War against the Baha’i

Tzvi Kahn

May 14 marked the ninth anniversary of Iran’s imprisonment of seven Baha’i leaders for the crime of practicing their faith. This grim milestone reflects the Baha’i’s status, in the words of the United Nations, as the country’s “most severely persecuted religious minority.” In...

19th May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

New Iran Sanctions Expose Illicit Networks

Annie Fixler , Behnam Ben Taleblu

The U.S. Department of the Treasury designated seven persons and entities for ties to Iran’s ballistic missile program on Wednesday. The sanctions reveal new evidence pointing to Iran’s support for entities involved in Syria’s chemical weapons program, and continuing evidence of...

19th May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Trump Travels to Saudi Arabia to Tackle Extremism

David Andrew Weinberg

President Donald Trump departs today on his first trip abroad since his inauguration. He will spend the weekend in Saudi Arabia, where his conversations with Muslim leaders are expected to focus on combating terrorism and the extremism that feeds it.

15th May 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...

12th May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

The Ideological Crucible of Iran’s Hunger Strikes

Tzvi Kahn

Hunger strikes in Iranian prisons are hardly new. But the international attention that accompanied one recent strike has exposed rare cracks in the regime’s theocratic armor, and offers a key lesson for the United States. By publicly highlighting the plight of Iran’s hunger strikers,...

8th May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

North Korea Sanctions Bill Passes First Hurdle

Anthony Ruggiero

The House of Representatives approved the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (KIMS) on Thursday. Passed by a vote of 419-1, the bill is expected to easily win Senate approval.

2nd May 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Hamas’s New Document: More of the Same

Kate Havard, Grant Rumley

Hamas’s outgoing political leader Khaled Meshaal announced the release of a new political document this week in Qatar.

27th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iran’s Ideological War on Homosexuality

Tzvi Kahn

Iranian police raided a private party this month, arresting more than 30 people on charges of sodomy, alcohol consumption, and psychedelic drug use. The move reflects the daily perils that homosexuals face in the Islamic Republic, which regards them as enemies of the state who threaten its...

27th April 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Turkish Airstrikes Complicate Campaign against IS

Aykan Erdemir

Turkish jets carried out airstrikes Tuesday and Wednesday against Kurdish forces in northern Syria and northern Iraq.

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.

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