Analysis & Commentary


25th January 2016 - Syndicated

The John Batchelor Show

Michael Ledeen

FDD Freedom Scholar Michael Ledeen discusses Iran, the recent prisoner exchange, and Implementation Day.

24th January 2016 - Voice of America

Voice of America News

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer comments on the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

24th January 2016 - Quoted by Julian Hattem - The Hill

Mystery swirls around American spy who went missing in Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

It’s been nine years since Robert Levinson went missing in Iran, and nobody seems to know where he is — or even if he’s still alive.

24th January 2016 - Quoted by Pamela Dockins - Voice of America

Kerry Arrives in Asia With Focus on China

Jonathan Schanzer

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Laos at the start of a tour of Asia that will also take him to Cambodia and China.

23rd January 2016 - PJ Media

Hostages, Hostages, and Other Deals

Michael Ledeen

Ransoming hostages is nothing new, indeed it’s routine for most countries and happens with increasing frequency for the U.S. government and American corporations.

23rd January 2016 - Quoted by Mehdi Jedinia - Voice of America

Analysts: Iran’s Sanctions Windfall Unlikely to Affect Syrian War

Ali Alfoneh

U.S. officials are likely correct in their assessment that more of Iran’s sanctions relief money will go toward domestic concerns than to the war in Syria or funding global terrorism, analysts say.

22nd January 2016 - Quoted by Stephen Collinson, Elise Labott - CNN Politics

John Kerry to land in Riyadh as U.S.-Iran relations spook Saudis

David Andrew Weinberg

It shouldn't be difficult for the White House to pick between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

22nd January 2016 - The Long War Journal

US officials ‘strongly suspect’ Iranian-backed militia of kidnapping 3 Americans in Baghdad

Bill Roggio

US military and intelligence officials believe an influential and dangerous Iranian-supported militia is responsible for kidnapping three American contractors Iraq’s capital several days ago.

22nd January 2016 - Quoted by Farnaz Fassihi - The Wall Street Journal

The Two Faces of Iran’s Dual Government

Ali Alfoneh

Last Sunday morning, a day after the implementation of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, President Hassan Rouhani issued a statement of hope for the future. “We have extended our hands to the world in a sign of friendship,” said Mr. Rouhani, in order “to begin a new...

22nd January 2016 - The Weekly Standard

Propitiating Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht

American presidents are always emotionally and politically drawn to the plight of American hostages overseas. In his sympathy and paternalism, Barack Obama seems just like Ronald Reagan, who traded Hawk missiles to Iran for the release of Americans held by the Lebanese Hezbollah, the...

21st January 2016 - FDD Research

Beyond Implementation Day: Transparency and Enforcement for the Long Term

Implementation Day marks the beginning of the true test of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

21st January 2016 - The Jewish Chronicle

Signed: new lease of life for Mid East’s No 1 war machine

Emanuele Ottolenghi

It was not last summer's rollercoaster, when Iran and six world powers clinched a deal to end the decade-long impasse over Tehran's nuclear programme.

21st January 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Hardliners Set to Dominate Iran’s February Elections

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

The Obama administration hopes that the Iran nuclear deal reached last July can “strengthen the hand” of Iran’s more pragmatic revolutionaries – particularly President Hassan Rouhani and his allies.

21st January 2016 - Quoted by Walter Russell Mead - The American Interest

Supreme Leader Backs Purge of Reformists

Mark Dubowitz

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei poured cold water on reformist hopes that this weekend’s ruling by Iran’s Guardian Council to disqualify thousands of prospective parliamentary candidates would be overturned.

20th January 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Congress Mulls Next Steps as Iran Sanctions Unwind

Tyler Stapleton, Annie Fixler

On January 16, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified that Iran had met its preliminary nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.

20th January 2016 - AM 1130

Up and At Em

Jonathan Schanzer

FDD VP for Research Jonathan Schanzer discusses sanctions relief, the prisoner swap, and diplomacy with Iran.

20th January 2016 - Quoted by Michael Hernandez - Anadolu Agency

Sanctions removal likely to embolden Iran: experts

Jonathan Schanzer

An estimated $100 billion in sanctions relief will likely bolster Iran’s support for rogue groups in the region, according to experts. But the extent to which Tehran benefits from the economic relief is severely limited by global oil trends.

20th January 2016 - Quoted by Matt Pearce - Los Angeles Times

Where are Iran’s billions in frozen assets, and how soon will it get them back?

Mark Dubowitz

Iran's "frozen" money has begun to thaw. For years, Iran had tens of billions of dollars worth of funds that were languishing in banks, unable to be used, because of global sanctions.

19th January 2016 - Quoted by Josh Siegel - The Daily Signal

World Watches How Iran, Now Free of Nuclear Sanctions, Will Act

Emanuele Ottolenghi

“Implementation day” of the nuclear deal among Iran, the U.S., and five other world powers came and went on Saturday after international inspectors confirmed that Tehran had fulfilled the terms of the agreement.

19th January 2016 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

John Kerry’s meaningless anger toward Iran should anger Americans

Mark Dubowitz

When many Americans reacted with outrage at the sight of our Navy sailors on their knees after being detained by Iran, and then more so, after video of one sailor compelled to apologize on camera, the Obama administration’s outward reaction was blasé.

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