Analysis & Commentary

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Samuel Rubenfeld - The Wall Street Journal

Trump Administration Keeps ‘Status Quo’ on Iran Sanctions

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration’s decision to renew waivers under the nuclear deal and add seven to its blacklist adheres to the status quo regarding the U.S. posture on Iran, sanctions experts said.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Josh Lederman - Associated Press

With waiver, US lets Iran keep getting benefits of nuke deal

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration took a key step Wednesday toward preserving the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, coupling the move with fresh ballistic missile sanctions to show it isn't going light on the Islamic republic.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Oren Dorell - USA Today

U.S. extends Iran nuclear sanctions relief, adds other sanctions

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration Wednesday issued a temporary waiver for sanctions involving the Iran nuclear deal, but added new names to a growing list of Iranian and Syrian targets accused of supporting Iran’s illicit missile programs, human rights abuses or terrorism.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Kimberly Dozier - The Daily Beast

U.S. Slaps New Sanctions on Iran

Mark Dubowitz

The Trump administration announced a series of punitive moves Wednesday against Iranian defense officials to send a signal that Iran’s ballistic missile program and support for terrorism won’t be tolerated, a senior administration official told The Daily Beast Tuesday.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Arshad Mohammed, Yeganeh Torbati - Reuters

U.S. extends sanctions relief under Iran nuclear deal

Mark Dubowitz

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday extended wide sanctions relief for Iran called for under a 2015 international nuclear deal even as he imposed narrow penalties on Iranian and Chinese figures for supporting Iran's ballistic missile program.

17th May 2017 - Quoted by Asa Fitch, Aresu Eqbali - The Wall Street Journal

Iran Nuclear Deal in Play as Hard-Line Candidate Gains on President

Behnam Ben Taleblu

President Hassan Rouhani faces a hard-line opponent in a national vote Friday that is shaping up as one of the most contentious and consequential elections since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

16th May 2017 - FDD Research

Iranian Presidential Election Primer

Behnam Ben Taleblu, Amir Toumaj

Iranian presidential elections happen every four years and follow a strict sequence. The first phase is registration, which this year lasted from April 10 to 14. During that time, over 1,600 candidates formally registered.

16th May 2017 - The Wall Street Journal

In Iran’s Election, Americans Should Root for the ‘Hard-Liner’

Reuel Marc Gerecht

In Washington there is a consensus that the re-election of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in the best interests of the U.S. Most find the self-avowed pragmatic cleric, who championed the 2015 nuclear deal, a less menacing choice than his “hard-line” opponent Ebrahim Raisi, who is...

16th May 2017 - Quoted by Ben Cohen - The Algemeiner

Iranian Democracy Advocates Dismiss Presidential Election as ‘Puppet Show’

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iranian democracy advocates say they are unimpressed with Friday’s presidential contest between incumbent Hassan Rouhani and his rival Ebrahim Raisi, slamming both as “weak candidates,” and dismissing the election itself as a “puppet show,” during interviews with The Algemeiner on...

16th May 2017 - Quoted by Ola Salem -

UAE-US relationship to be determined by what Trump can deliver

David Andrew Weinberg

The United States pledged to break away from the old policy of reluctance that defined the relationship between Washington and the Gulf states, after meetings with Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince. During the two-day visit, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed...

16th May 2017 - Quoted by Sheena Chestnut Greitens - The Washington Post

Can Trump count on Manila to put pressure on North Korea? 3 points to know.

Anthony Ruggiero

President Trump raised eyebrows in late April with a phone call to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte — and an invitation for Duterte to visit the White House. After Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that these were necessary steps to pressure North Korea, commenters and former...

15th May 2017 - Quoted by Erin Cunningham - The Washington Post

Tehran mayor leaves Iran’s presidential race to back fellow conservative in bid to unseat Rouhani

Behnam Ben Taleblu

Iranian presidential hopeful Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf withdrew Monday from the race to unseat the country’s moderate leader, in a move to unite conservatives behind fellow hard-liner Ebrahim Raisi in the homestretch for Friday’s election.

15th May 2017 - The Forward

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Saudi Arabia Still Hostile To Israel

David Daoud, David Andrew Weinberg

Before visiting Jerusalem in several days, President Trump will stop in Saudi Arabia for meetings with Islamic leaders to discuss joint efforts against extremism. He may wish to start with Saudi Arabia’s own mixed record on incitement against Israel and the Jewish people.

15th May 2017 - Quoted by Russ Read - The Daily Caller

Iran’s Radical Faction Consolidates Power In Bid To Retake The Presidency

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran’s ultra-conservative political faction is beginning to consolidate itself behind Ebrahim Raisi, a prodigy of the country’s supreme leader, in an attempt to retake the presidency in the upcoming election.

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,...

11th May 2017 - Quoted by Kristina Arriaga - The Wall Street Journal

Whoever Wins Iran’s Election, Its Religious Minorities Lose

Clifford D. May

What will Iran’s May 19 presidential election mean for the Baha’i, the country’s largest non-Muslim religious group? Given that every candidate was handpicked by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei’s Guardian Council, the answer is simple: Nothing good.

10th May 2017 - Quoted by Russ Read - Daily Caller

Iran May Be Shielding Missile Program Under The Guise Of Satellite Launches

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran’s communications minister recently announced plans to put two satellites into space, but the impending launch may be cover for ballistic missile research.

9th May 2017 - Fox Business

Cavuto: Coast to Coast

John Hannah

FDD senior counselor John Hannah comments on the escalating tensions after Iran fired a missile in the Strait of Hormuz.

9th May 2017 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Iran to Launch Two New Satellites, Likely Cover for Illicit ICBM Program

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran is preparing to launch two new domestic satellites into space, according to a new announcement by Iranian military leaders that is stirring discussion among U.S. national security insiders who say the move is likely cover for the test firing of advanced intercontinental ballistic...

8th May 2017 - Quoted by Ed Blanche - The Arab Weekly

Iranian airlines under U.S. scrutiny for Syria arms flights

Emanuele Ottolenghi

U.S. officials are eyeing a crackdown on Ira­nian airlines that alleg­edly supply arms and equipment to Tehran's allies. The main focus of such a measure would be the air bridge between Iran and Syria that fun­nels weapons and military equip­ment to President Bashar al-Assad's military...

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