Analysis & Commentary


3rd August 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Iraq Opens its Gates to Iran’s Trojan Horse

Tyler Stapleton, Amir Toumaj

The Al-Arabiya satellite station published an Iraqi government document last week revealing that Baghdad had established an “independent military formation” in Iraq’s security forces, beyond Defense Ministry control.

25th July 2016 - The Hill Times

Should Canada reopen its embassy in Iran?

Sheryl Saperia

The embassy must be tasked with the immensely difficult job of protecting Canadian citizens and Canadian security interests in the region, not with lining the pockets of those with little regard for these imperatives.

18th July 2016 - FDD Press

Flying Above the Radar

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Annie Fixler , Yaya J. Fanusie

With the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in January 2016, most international sanctions against Iran have been lifted. These include long-standing U.S. sanctions against Iran’s aviation sector. The United States has removed all but four Iranian civilian...

18th July 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Reuters: Iranian Hardliners “Gaining Authority” One Year After Nuclear Deal

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iranian hardliners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are “gaining authority” in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal, Reuters reported on Monday.

18th July 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Reuters: Iranian Hardliners “Gaining Authority” One Year After Nuclear Deal

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iranian hardliners close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are “gaining authority” in the wake of last year’s nuclear deal, Reuters reported on Monday.

12th July 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Why Are These IRGC Figures Not Sanctioned?

Amir Toumaj

The White House promised Congress last summer that the Iran nuclear accord would not prevent the United States from imposing additional non-nuclear sanctions.

4th July 2016 - The National Interest

Iran Stirs Up More Trouble in the Gulf

Saeed Ghasseminejad, Amir Toumaj

Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ external operations wing the Quds Force, issued a scathing condemnation June 20 against Bahrain’s revocation of the citizenship of a top Shia cleric. Soleimani proclaimed Sheikh Isa Qassim to be Tehran’s “red...

4th July 2016 - The Canadian Jewish News

Our Next Man (Or Woman) In Tehran

Sheryl Saperia

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion recently confirmed that preliminary official contact between Iran and Canada has begun, toward the goal of restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries.

30th June 2016 - Quoted by Sune Engel Rasmussen, Zahra Nader - The Guardian

Iran covertly recruits Afghan Shias to fight in Syria

Amir Toumaj

Iran is covertly recruiting hundreds of Afghan Shias in Afghanistan to fight for Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, drawing them out of their own conflict-ridden country and into another war in which Afghanistan plays no official part.

29th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

New Iran armed forces chief warns of military intervention if Baghdad is threatened

Amir Toumaj

Iran’s new Armed Forces General Staff chief, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, has reiterated the Islamic Republic’s security red lines and priorities the day after his appointment.

17th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Qods Force general vows to fight in Iraq and Syria until the last jihadist is killed

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

A senior advisor to the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Qods Force vowed that Iranian forces would continue to fight in Iraq and Syria until the last Islamic State and “takfiri” fighters are killed.

16th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Iran shuts down news site after reporting Taliban emir held talks with officials

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

Iranian authorities shuttered a news website after it claimed that the Taliban’s previous emir was inside Iran for two months and strategized with officials to counter the Islamic State.

16th June 2016 - Foreign Policy

The Obama Administration Needs to Stand Strong on Iran Sanctions

Mark Dubowitz, Annie Fixler

Iran's demands are escalating. The supreme leader is sounding the alarm about American mendacity. An anxious U.S. secretary of state is practically begging companies to return to Iran. Cautious banking executives and a distrustful and angry Congress are pushing back. Welcome to the fallout...

14th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

IRGC officer college mourns comrade killed in Syria

Amir Toumaj

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its allies, particularly Iraqi militia Harakat al Nujaba, have been heavily engaged in combat against Jaish al Fath and Jabhat al Nusra (al-Qaeda’s Syria branch) in southern Aleppo in the past two weeks, with the IRGC losing at least 13 men...

14th June 2016 - Quoted by Rick Gladstone - The New York Times

Iran Said to Have Deal With Boeing to Buy Passenger Planes

Mark Dubowitz

Iran has reached an agreement with the Boeing Company for the acquisition of new passenger planes to help modernize its outdated fleet, state-run Iranian news media reported on Tuesday.

7th June 2016 - The Long War Journal

Qods Force commander an official advisor to government, Iraq’s foreign minister says

Bill Roggio, Amir Toumaj

Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Qods Force, serves as an official advisor to the Iraqi government, the foreign minister confirmed yesterday. Soleimani and Qods Force have provided advice and support for the Popular Mobilization Forces and its component militias.

7th June 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

WATCH: In Latest Sign of Expanding Influence, Iranian IRGC Soldier Embeds with Iraqi Troops

Footage has emerged on Twitter of an Iranian soldier from the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) embedded among Iraqi troops, the latest indication of direct Iranian involvement in its neighboring country’s internal affairs.

3rd June 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Supreme Leader’s Confidant Is Re-elected Parliament Speaker

Amir Toumaj

Iran’s parliament re-elected Ali Larijani as parliamentary speaker on Tuesday. Larijani, who has held the post since 2008, is a long-time regime insider who has risen through the Islamic Republic’s ranks thanks to his proven loyalty to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

26th May 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

Experts at Senate Hearing: White House Must Increase Pressure on Iran to Stop its Malign Behavior

Mark Dubowitz

Sanctions and national security experts urged the United States to reject Iran’s demands for further economic concessions and ramp up pressure on Tehran in response to its regional aggression during a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday.

25th May 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

A Hardliner’s Hardliner Wins Assembly of Experts Chair

Amir Toumaj

The Assembly of Experts, the body charged with choosing Iran’s supreme leader, selected one of the Islamic Republic’s most hardline, anti-Western clerics as chairman on Tuesday. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati, 89, has a reputation for blistering denunciations of America, of Iranian reformists,...

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