Analysis & Commentary


13th December 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Iranian Budget Hints at British Ransom Payment

Saeed Ghasseminejad

This past weekend, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson departed Tehran without securing the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the Iranian-British dual citizen being held hostage by Tehran. However, a single line in Iran’s newly released budget proposal for the coming fiscal year...

12th December 2017 - The Tower

UK’s Foreign Secretary Unable to Secure Release of Dual National, Iran Seeks Ransom Payment

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Returning from a trip to the Middle East including a stop in Iran, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that it was “too early to be confident” that a British-Iranian dual citizen would be released by Iran before Christmas, even as evidence emerged that Iran is seeking what is...

12th December 2017 - Defense One

Improving on the Iran Deal

Mark Dubowitz

President Trump’s October decision to “decertify” but not immediately dissolve the Iran nuclear deal opened a narrow door to forging a stronger approach to Iran.

12th December 2017 - Hoover Institution

The Limits of the Indirect Approach

Tony Badran

In October 2017, the Trump administration rolled out its long-anticipated policy to counter Iranian expansionism in the region. The policy pays significant attention to Hezbollah, Iran’s principal instrument of regional power projection. After eight years of American courtship of Iran,...

12th December 2017 - Hoover Institution

Countering Iran while Retreating

Reuel Marc Gerecht

Time has almost run out for the United States to deny the Islamic Republic hegemony in the northern Middle East. The clerical regime has the high ground and the Americans are, at best, slowing Iranian advances. The approximately two thousand troops Washington has reportedly deployed to...

11th December 2017 - Foreign Policy

Warning to Congress: Bad Iran Legislation Is Worse Than No Iran Legislation

Richard Goldberg

In October, President Donald Trump took an important step toward countering Iran’s ever-expanding list of illicit activities by refusing to certify to Congress that the flawed nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration remained in America’s national security interest. Now he...

11th December 2017 - The Washington Times

Congress ignores Trump’s pleas for help, deadline to improve Iran nuclear deal

Mark Dubowitz

Congress is about to miss what was widely seen as a deadline to deal with President Trump’s demands for a harder line on the Iran nuclear deal, failing to agree on new sanctions against Tehran and punting the future of the deal back to Mr. Trump.

11th December 2017 - The Financial Times

Fate of Iran deal to land back in Trump’s hands

Mark Dubowitz

Two months after Donald Trump offloaded to Congress a decision on whether to reimpose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, lawmakers are set to hand the contentious issue back to the president after missing a deadline to deal with it.

11th December 2017 - Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Congress will miss its deadline to reimpose sanctions on Iran deal. What happens next?

Richard Goldberg

Two months ago, President Donald Trump triggered a deadline about to come due on the Iran nuclear deal by decertifying Iran’s compliance. That meant Congress had 60 days to reimpose sanctions.

11th December 2017 - The New York Times

Iranian Terror. Argentinian Cover Up. Justice at Last?

Mark Dubowitz, Toby Dershowitz

One morning last week, Argentines woke up to a political earthquake: A judge had charged a former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, with “treason against the homeland,” punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

6th December 2017 - Quoted by Bill Powell - Newsweek

Why The Trump Team May Be Worried About A Billion-Dollar Money Laundering Case

Aykan Erdemir

Over nearly six years, Zarrab had smuggled up to $1 billion of gold into Iran in exchange for cash, violating sanctions against Tehran, which the U.S. put in place in response to the country’s nuclear program. Zarrab had also arranged to sell Iranian oil and gas (another sanctions...

5th December 2017 - Quoted by Matthew R.J. Brodsky - The Weekly Standard

With Syria Strikes, Israel Atempts to Send a Message to Trump and Putin

Tony Badran

When it comes to Syria, Israel has a message and the government hopes a wider audience is listening. It was delivered in the form of two strikes inside Syria over the last week. By itself, an Israeli strike inside Syria is nothing extraordinary.

5th December 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Reported link between Houthi and Iranian ballistic missiles

Behnam Ben Taleblu

At the strategic level, if Iran’s provision of ballistic missiles to the Houthi rebels is confirmed, it could be seen as an indicator Tehran’s increased tolerance for risk in a distant conflict theater, one which has sought to weaken Saudi Arabia by any means possible.

3rd December 2017 - Quoted by Ed Blanche - The Arab Weekly

Iran’s growing power could be explosive

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, David Adesnik

Beirut- Iran is poised to consolidate its growing power in the Middle East as it tries to com­plete a strategic land bridge from the Arabian Gulf to the Mediterranean despite advances in Syria by the United States and its allies.

3rd December 2017 - Quoted by Joyce Karam - The National

US senior official estimates 80% of Assad fighting force is Iranian sourced

Jonathan Schanzer

Senior members of the Trump administration upped the ante against Iran over the weekend, revealing a warning sent to Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Soleimani and promising a regional strategy to roll back Tehran’s proxies across the Middle East.

2nd December 2017 - FDD's Long War Journal

Analysis: Ayman al Zawahiri calls for ‘unity’ in Syria amid leadership crisis

Thomas Joscelyn

The jihad in Syria has unleashed another leadership crisis for al Qaeda.

1st December 2017 - Quoted by Artin Afkhami - Just Security

Iran Policy Implications of Replacing Tillerson with Pompeo and Cotton to CIA

The White House has created a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, and then nominate Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to replace Pompeo at CIA, according to the New York Times.

30th November 2017 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Behnam Ben Taleblu

FDD's Behnam Ben Taleblu discusses Houthi use of Iranian weaponry on The John Batchelor Show.

28th November 2017 - Quoted by Guy Taylor - The Washington Times

Fresh concern over possible Iran-North Korea nuclear links

A series of recent high-level meetings between Iranian and North Korean officials has prompted fresh concern in U.S. national security circles about the depth of military and ballistic missile technology cooperation between the two American adversaries, according to a Washington think tank....

25th November 2017 - Quoted by Natalie Johnson - The Washington Free Beacon

Experts: Trump Must Detail a Clear Syria Strategy to Block Iranian Influence Post-ISIS

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

As the Trump administration winds down the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Iran is gearing up to expand its territorial gains in the region, stoking concern among U.S. allies and partners.

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