Analysis & Commentary


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...

23rd May 2017 - The Washington Times

Iran’s latest unfree and unfair election

Clifford D. May

News must be new but it needn’t be surprising. The decidedly unsurprising news out of Iran last week: There was an election (of sorts) and the winner was Hassan Rouhani, the incumbent president. An apparently mild-mannered cleric with a beatific smile, he has presided over Iran for four...

22nd May 2017 - Foreign Policy

Qatar Needs to Do Its Part

John Hannah

An important goal of President Donald Trump’s meetings with Arab and Islamic leaders this past weekend was to encourage them to shoulder more of the burden in defending our common interests, particularly in combating the threats from terrorism and Iran.

21st May 2017 - Quoted by Peter Baker and Michael Shear - The New York Times

Trump Softens Tone on Islam but Callas for Purge of ‘Foot Soldiers of Evil’

Mark Dubowitz

President Trump on Sunday pivoted away from his strident assessment of Islam as a religion of hatred as he sought to redefine American leadership in the Middle East and rally the Muslim world to join him in a renewed campaign against extremism.

21st May 2017 - Quoted by Asa Fitch - The Wall Street Journal

Re-elected Iran Moderate Rouhani Faces Entrenched Interests

Behnam Ben Taleblu

A decisive re-election win for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is likely to fuel his push for foreign investment and better relations with the West, but it will also likely mobilize conservative forces that have resisted rapprochement and advocate domestic development.

20th May 2017 - Quoted by Yeganeh Torbati and Jonathan Landay - Reuters

U.S. calls on Iran to halt support for ‘destabilizing forces’

Reuel Marc Gerecht

The re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is unlikely to change the skepticism with which he is viewed by the Trump administration as the public face of a government opposed to U.S. interests and allies in the Middle East, former U.S. officials and analysts said.

20th May 2017 - Quoted by Parisa Hafezi - Reuters

After Rouhani Re-Election, Expect Hardliners to ‘Settle Scores’

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranians yearning for detente abroad and greater freedoms at home have handed President Hassan Rouhani a second term, but the hardline forces he defeated in elections on Friday will remain defiantly opposed to his plans.

19th May 2017 - Quoted by Erin Cunningham - The Washington Post

Iranians vote for president, with the nuclear deal and economy on their minds

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Heavy voter turnout in Iran brought huge lines and extended voting hours Friday in a pivotal presidential election that could either boost Iran’s engagement with the world or possibly plunge the country back into greater diplomatic isolation.

19th May 2017 - Quoted by Reuters

Vote counting starts after heavy turnout in Iran election

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Vote counting began in Iran on Saturday after a large turnout in an unexpectedly tight presidential election pitting President Hassan Rouhani, who wants to normalise ties with the West, against a hardline judge who says he has already gone too far.

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 - Fox News

Happening Now

Mark Dubowitz

FDD's CEO Mark Dubowitz discusses the upcoming Iran elections and its implications for the United States.

19th May 2017 - The Hill

Trump’s steps on Iran show cooperation with Congress is possible

Orde Kittrie

On Wednesday, the Trump administration made clear that its Iran policy review is headed toward the position shared by the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate foreign relations committees that the United States should take a firmer stance against Iran’s non-nuclear malign...

19th May 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Behnam Ben Taleblu

FDD senior Iran analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu discusses the Trump administration's sanctions against Iran.

18th May 2017 - France 24 English

France 24

Behnam Ben Taleblu

FDD senior Iran analyst Behnam Ben Taleblu discusses Iranian participation in the Iran election.

18th May 2017 - Quoted by Parisa Hafezi - Reuters

Iranians divided ahead of Friday election, economy main concern

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Kaveh Rastegari's desire for more freedoms and Ghorban Norouzi's worries about money illustrate the fault lines in Iranian society expected to sway a tightly fought presidential election on Friday.

18th May 2017 - Foreign Policy

Why Trump’s Iran Sanctions Waiver Should Worry the Mullahs

John Hannah

As part of the Iran nuclear deal, or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), that he inherited from his predecessor, President Donald Trump yesterday was forced to decide whether to renew the U.S. waiver on sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports. Rather than violate the JCPOA and risk...

17th May 2017 - US News & World Report

Iran’s Illusionary Presidential Election

Behnam Ben Taleblu

The pool of contenders for the Islamic Republic of Iran's highest "elected" position is shrinking. Ahead of this Friday's presidential contest, two of the six approved individuals have dropped out, leaving only two mid-ranking clerics and two increasingly irrelevant former government...

17th May 2017 - The Wall Street Journal

Trump Tries a ‘Waive-and-Slap’ Approach to Tehran

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration had no sooner renewed a waiver on U.S. sanctions against Iran’s crude-oil exports Wednesday than it introduced a raft of new sanctions against the regime. Call it the waive-and-slap approach.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Carlo Munoz - The Washington Times

Trump admin. rolls out new sanctions against Iran

Mark Dubowitz

President Trump on Wednesday ordered a new round of economic sanctions against Iran, punishing the country for its growing ballistic missile program while also quietly extending Obama-era sanctions relief mandates tied to the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran that Mr. Trump harshly criticized on...

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Dan De Luce - Foreign Policy

Trump Keeps the Iran Deal Alive, For Now

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration said Wednesday it will renew sanctions relief for Iran promised under a 2015 nuclear deal but also announced new punitive measures against Iranian officials over the country’s ballistic missile program.

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