Analysis & Commentary


30th March 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Erdogan’s Washington Visit Overshadowed by Sanction-Buster’s Arrest

Merve Tahiroglu, Aykan Erdemir

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Washington for a five-day trip geared around the White House’s two-day nuclear security summit on Thursday and Friday.

29th March 2016 - Quoted by David Ignatius - The Washington Post

A grim warning against America’s overuse of sanctions

Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer

Economic sanctions have become the “silver bullet” of American foreign policy over the past decade, because they’re cheaper and more effective in compelling adversaries than traditional military power. But Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns of a “risk of overuse” that could neuter...

29th March 2016 - Quoted by Adam Kredo - The Washington Free Beacon

Iran Expands Covert Ballistic Missile Program, Dismisses U.S. Sanctions

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran is covertly expanding an underground network of ballistic missile construction and testing sites, despite new U.S. sanctions aimed at deterring the Islamic Republic’s illicit program, which is believed to be focused on the delivery of a nuclear warhead.

29th March 2016 - The New York Times

Turkey Has Been Reckless, Repressive and Unreliable

Jonathan Schanzer

When then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan last visited Washington in 2013, he received the full “valued ally” treatment, including an appearance with President Obama in the White House Rose Garden.

28th March 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Lawmakers Push Back Against White House Effort to Open U.S. Markets to Iran

Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer

The Obama administration’s efforts to provide Iran with unprecedented access to the United States financial system is provoking push-back from leading legislators in the foreign policy arena, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Monday.

28th March 2016 - Quoted by Tolga Tanis - Hurriyet Daily News

Zarrab connections

Let’s not talk about the unknown. Did Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman of Iranian origin, go to the U.S. knowing he would be arrested?

28th March 2016 - Quoted by Mortimer B. Zuckerman - U.S. News & World Report

Missiles Speak Louder Than Words

Saeed Ghasseminejad

The international order that's emerged over nearly six decades, orchestrated by the U.S., is crumbling. Russia in Eastern Europe, China in East Asia and Iran in the Middle East are seeking to overturn the post-Cold War status quo.

28th March 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Lawmakers, Experts Question Administration’s Interest in Granting Iran More Sanctions Relief

Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer

The Obama administration appears willing to offer new sanctions relief to Iran, including allowing the country to access the U.S. financial market, causing concern among lawmakers and experts, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

28th March 2016 - Foreign Policy

Hillary Clinton, Neocon?

John Hannah

With terror in Brussels swamping the news cycle last week, speeches delivered to AIPAC’s Policy Conference by four leading U.S. presidential candidates, outlining their approaches to the Middle East, received less attention than they otherwise might have.

28th March 2016 - The Wall Street Journal

Dollarizing the Ayatollahs

Mark Dubowitz, Jonathan Schanzer

The bruising battle between the president and Congress surrounding the Iran nuclear deal is over. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, despite its many troubling flaws, is already being implemented. Yet now another nasty battle is brewing.

25th March 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iran deploys Army Special Forces to Syria and Iraq

Amir Toumaj

A senior commander in Iran’s Army told reporters Wednesday that Special Forces would be deployed as “advisors” to Syria and Iraq.

24th March 2016 - Quoted by Bradley Klapper - Associated Press

Republicans worry Obama is opening door to new Iran relief

Mark Dubowitz

The Obama administration is leaving the door open to new sanctions relief for Iran, including possibly long-forbidden access to the U.S. financial market, prompting increased concern from Republican opponents of last year's nuclear deal.

24th March 2016 - Quoted by Fehim Tastekin - Al Monitor

Is corruption suspect’s US arrest bad news for Erdogan?

Aykan Erdemir

The March 19 arrest of Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab in Florida came as a bombshell to Ankara politics. Zarrab allegedly was the key figure running a money-transfer network in 2010-2015 that was designed to evade US sanctions against Iran.

23rd March 2016 - Quoted by Patrick Goodenough - CNSNews.com

Iran-Related Arrest in Florida Could Have Political Implications for Turkey’s Islamist Ruling Party

The arrest in Florida of a prominent Iranian-Turkish businessman accused of conspiring to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in financial transactions to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions may have major political implications in Turkey, where the same man was linked to a corruption scandal...

23rd March 2016 - Quoted by Sune Engel Rasmussen - Newsweek Middle East

Iran: Dead Billionaire Walking

Emanuele Ottolenghi

For the past two years, while he was languishing in Tehran’s Evin Prison, the world seemed to forget Iranian billionaire Babak Zanjani. But he returned to the headlines on March 6, when an Iranian court sentenced him to death.

23rd March 2016 - Quoted by International Business Times

Reza Zarrab: Turkey reels from gold bullion scandal as spotlight lands on Erdogan allies

Jonathan Schanzer

The love of gold, stashed under floorboards for emergencies, may be deeply ingrained in Turkish culture. But Reza Zarrab, a 33-year-old Turkish-Iranian millionaire, is learning fast that the US authorities are not as willing as his allies in Turkey to turn a blind eye to millions of dollars...

22nd March 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

WSJ Editorial: Senate Sanctions Bills are “Good Start” to Countering Iranian Missile Program

Saeed Ghasseminejad

Bills that aim to place sanctions on Iran due to the continued development of its ballistic missile program are a “good start,” a Wall Street Journal editorial argued on Tuesday.

22nd March 2016 - Quoted by Louis Jacobson - Politifact

Donald Trump says Iran is responsible for terrorist attacks in 25 countries, five continents

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross

During a prepared speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, Donald Trump took a hard line on Iran.

21st March 2016 - Quoted by The Wall Street Journal

The U.S. Senate Takes On Iran

The Iranian nuclear deal is barely six months old and already Tehran has repeatedly tested ballistic missiles capable of delivering atomic warheads. So it’s encouraging to see that U.S. Senate Republicans have introduced legislation designed to confront Iran on its belligerent behavior....

20th March 2016 - Quoted by Julian Pecquet - Al-monitor

Senate takes hard-line tack on Iran sanctions

Mark Dubowitz

Senate Republicans have run out of patience with Iran's defiance of its international obligations, setting up a possible partisan showdown over new sanctions.

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