Analysis & Commentary


16th January 2017 - FDD Policy Brief

Easing Sanctions on Sudan Erodes U.S. Leverage

Jonathan Schanzer

The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Friday eased sanctions against Sudan based on improved behavior, and with the expectation that Sudan “sustains [the] positive actions it has taken over the last 6 months.” The move, which comes after months of rumors that Sudan would be removed...

30th December 2016 - Quoted by Brian Whitmore - Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty

Tit But No Tat

Eric B. Lorber

So we had the tit, but not the tat. First, Dmitry Peskov said Russia would respond in kind to the expulsion of its diplomats and other sanctions related to Moscow's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election. Then, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov went on national television to...

29th December 2016 - Quoted by Eric Geller and Cory Bennett - Politico

White House sanctions Russia over election hacks

Boris Zilberman

In one of its final moves to keep Russia at bay and secure America from digital intruders, the Obama administration on Thursday slapped Moscow with a round of sanctions over its alleged election-season hacks.

23rd December 2016 - FDD Policy Brief

Treasury Sanctions Airline Ferrying Fighters for Assad

Emanuele Ottolenghi, David Daoud

The U.S. Treasury announced new Syria sanctions on Friday, including on Cham Wings, Syria’s second-largest carrier. Privately owned by businessman Issam Shammout, Cham Wings has been blacklisted by the Department of Commerce since 2011.

15th December 2016 - Quoted by Carol Morello - The Washington Post

Iran sanctions extended, but without Obama’s signature

Mark Dubowitz

Sanctions against Iran were officially extended for another decade Thursday, even though President Obama did not sign the legislation, a symbolic move intended to show the White House’s disapproval of the bill.

6th November 2016 - The National Interest

Why Are U.S.-Sanctioned Airlines Still Flying to the Gulf States?

David Andrew Weinberg, Emanuele Ottolenghi

Gulf rulers should recognize that the United States could choose to enforce sanctions against financial intermediaries for Syrian Air.

26th October 2016 - Quoted by Nick Wadhams - Chicago Tribune

U.S. stuck with nobody left to sanction in Russia over Syria

Eric B. Lorber

The U.S. put sanctions on Russia's main arms exporter, Kremlin aides and the black leather-loving head of a motorcycle gang nicknamed "The Surgeon" after the 2014 invasion of Ukraine.

10th October 2016 - WSJ Video

Opinion Journal

Mark Dubowitz

FDD Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses how the Obama administration continues to undermine sanctions on Iran.

7th October 2016 - Quoted by Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Former Top Treasury Official: Banks Still Don’t Want to Do Business with Iran

A former top Treasury Department official told The Weekly Standard Thursday that major international firms still do not want to do business with Iran, despite efforts by the Obama administration to persuade foreign banks and businesses to reengage there.

5th October 2016 - Quoted by Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Obama Admin Gutted Iran Ballistic Missile Embargo

Mark Dubowitz

The Obama administration gutted an international ballistic missile embargo on Iran as one of several concessions made when the Islamic Republic released four American prisoners in January, Iran experts tell The Weekly Standard. This has triggered criticism that the administration misled...

5th October 2016 - Quoted by Alex Lockie - Business Insider

The Iran deal has Obama ‘held hostage’ while the Middle East descends into chaos

Jonathan Schanzer

On October 18, 2015, the US, the EU, China, Russia, and Iran adopted the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ensuring that Iran's nuclear program would be peaceful for at least a decade, and enshrining a signature achievement of the Obama administration's foreign policy.

30th September 2016 - Quoted by Saagar Enjeti - The Daily Caller

Iran Scandal Deepens: US Signed Secret Deal Lifting Sanctions The Same Day Hostages Released

Jonathan Schanzer

The Obama administration secretly helped lift UN sanctions on two Iranian banks, on the exact same day four American hostages were released, The Wall Street Journal reports.

30th September 2016 - Quoted by The Tower

WSJ: U.S. Secretly Removed Sanctions From Iranian Banks to Free American Hostages

Mark Dubowitz

The United States signed a secret agreement to lift United Nations sanctions on two Iranian banks that were designated for financing their country’s ballistic missile program on the same day that Tehran freed four American hostages, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

26th September 2016 - Quoted by the Office of House Speaker Ryan

Why does the White House oppose bipartisan Syrian sanctions?

Mark Dubowitz

Last week, Speaker Ryan called out the Obama administration for pressuring House Democrats to abandon a bipartisan bill to sanction the Syrian regime.

25th September 2016 - Quoted by Kristina Peterson - The Wall Street Journal

Calls to Expand U.S. Sanctions on Syria’s Assad Grow Louder

Mark Dubowitz

Momentum is growing on Capitol Hill for new sanctions against supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, as many lawmakers’ patience with the Obama administration’s approach wears thin following the collapse of the latest cease-fire agreement.

29th July 2016 - Jewish Journal

One year on, the Iran deal is still bad

Emanuele Ottolenghi, Annie Fixler

A decade of nuclear negotiations with Iran were meant to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons, force Iran to reveal its past clandestine activities and impose permanent restrictions on Iran’s civil nuclear program.

27th July 2016 - NPR

All Things Considered

Mark Dubowitz

FDD's Executive Director Mark Dubowitz discusses why the U.S. shouldn't be making concessions in Iran.

25th July 2016 - The Hill

Will Iran wordsmith its way off our terrorism list? It certainly is trying

Toby Dershowitz, Saeed Ghasseminejad

Iran is on a diplomatic offensive to persuade global illicit finance regulators to accept that Hezbollah is not a terrorist group. It may be just a matter of time before the international body in charge of protecting the global financial system succumbs to pressure from businesses on a gold...

20th July 2016 - Quoted by Jenna Lifhits - The Weekly Standard

Obama Administration Imposes Sanctions on Iran-Based Al-Qaeda Members After Denying Cooperation

Thomas Joscelyn, Jonathan Schanzer

The Obama administration has sanctioned three senior al-Qaeda members operating in Iran just weeks after dismissing reports of cooperation between the global terror organization and the Islamic Republic, deepening criticism from experts and lawmakers that the administration is seeking to...

15th July 2016 - Quoted by Indira Lakshmanan - Politico

Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal

Mark Dubowitz

For Barack Obama, July 14, 2015 marked the greatest diplomatic triumph of his presidency: Amid flags and flashbulbs in Vienna, his secretary of State, John Kerry, announced a historic, UN-backed nuclear accord to defuse the global security threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

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