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Assessing Iran's Asia Pivot
Articles - January 30, 2013

A significant shift is underway in U.S. defense posture. Over the past year, the Obama administration has carried out a public pivot in strategic focus toward the Asia Pacific theater. The reorientation has been driven in large part by concerns over China’s “peaceful” (or not so peaceful) rise to regional prominence—and by an effort to exploit the opportunities that have been created by it. Widespread regional unease over China’s growing footprint among Asian countries has paved the way for stronger relationships between Asia and the United States, as well as a growing willingness to partner with Washington on matters of regional security and politics.

The Cost Of Misunderstanding Iran
Articles - January 17, 2013

Today, the United States confronts no shortage of strategic challenges in the Middle East. Initial optimism about democratic change among the countries of the “Arab Spring” has given way to deep apprehension over the ascendance of Islamist forces in places like Egypt and Libya. The post-Saddam government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki remains fragile and unstable, riven by sectarian divisions and propelled by divisive power politics. And al-Qaeda, although down in the wake of the May 2011 killing of Osama bin Laden, is decidedly not out, as frequent bombings in Iraq and mounting unrest in Yemen underscore.

The Brotherhood's Agenda, Cairo's Catastrophe
Articles - January 14, 2013

It has been heralded as a humanitarian gesture and a sign of Arab leadership, but Qatar’s decision last week to double its $2.5 billion aid package to Egypt is also a telling indicator of the true economic state of affairs in post-revolutionary Egypt.

Why North Korea's Missile Launch Matters
Articles - December 21, 2012

North Korea's successful use last week of a long-range rocket to launch a satellite into orbit has catapulted the Asian rogue state back into the international spotlight. It also has brought back the global danger posed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea into sharp focus.

Anatomy Of A Power Struggle
Articles - December 19, 2012
U.S. Sanctions Push Iran To Foreign Meddling
Articles - November 27, 2012

There's a tried-and-true rule in politics that, when there's trouble at home, it's time to look abroad. The Iranian regime is proving to be no exception to this axiom; as its economic fortunes have dimmed as a result of widening Western sanctions, the Iranian regime has ramped up its interference throughout the Middle East.

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 128
Bulletins - November 20, 2012

An Energy Lifeline for Syria...;
...and an Iranian Hand in Yemen's Unrest?;
Still More Fiscal Belt Tightening

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 127
Bulletins - November 8, 2012
Blacklist The United Arab Emirates
Articles - November 6, 2012

The security of many countries is being endangered by the United Arab Emirates, a confederation of seven small states located in the Arabian Peninsula. Usually considered a Western ally, this false friend also serves as a regional financial hub for mob figures, arms dealers, drug traffickers, jihadis, and rogue regimes. The White House and the Financial Action Task Force—set up by the G7 to combat money laundering and terrorism financing—have so far failed to take action to stop this emerging threat.

The Mirage Of Nuclear Talks With Iran
Articles - October 22, 2012

Call it President Obama’s “October surprise.” This past weekend, just days before tonight’s much-anticipated presidential debate on foreign policy and national security, the New York Times reported that the White House appears to be on the cusp of a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran—and that direct, one-on-one negotiations over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear effort could take place in the near future, following the U.S. presidential election in November.

Iran's Mullahs Blame Mahmoud
Articles - October 11, 2012

You've got to feel a little sorry for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. With his nuclear brinksmanship and inflammatory public rhetoric, Iran's firebrand president is accustomed to hogging the international spotlight. But recent days have seen him making news for a different reason entirely. Ahmadinejad is now fighting for his political life against domestic opponents who blame him for the country's current fiscal crisis.

The Contours of Iran's Currency Crisis
Articles - October 5, 2012

Quite suddenly, it seems, Iran’s economy is in serious trouble. In recent days, the country’s national currency has fallen to record lows against the U.S. dollar. On October 1st alone, the value of the Iranian rial declined by some 17 percent, collapsing to 34,700 to one American dollar. (It has since reportedly fallen still further). All told, the rial has lost more than 80 percent of its worth over the past year.

Seeing Sanctions Straight
Articles - October 3, 2012

When it comes to American policy toward the Islamic Republic of Iran, one approach has tended to crowd out all others. Over time, economic sanctions have come to be seen as something of a catch-all—a panacea of sorts for the West's nagging problem with the Iranian regime and its persistent nuclear ambitions. As a result, policymakers in Washington, as well as their counterparts across the Atlantic, have invested tremendous time and energy in crafting an elaborate framework of economic pressure against the Iranian regime.

The dangerous Iran flirtation: Argentina likely to get burned
Articles - September 27, 2012

At first blush, Argentina seems like an odd choice of partners for the Islamic Republic of Iran. The South American nation holds the dubious distinction of being the first victim of Iranian terrorism in the Western Hemisphere, suffering terrorist attacks on Israeli and Jewish targets in Buenos Aires that were carried out by Iranian-sponsored radicals in 1992 and 1994. Yet today, relations between Argentina and Iran are unmistakably on the upswing.



Post-Election, Iran Could Become Obama’s Decision
Articles - September 6, 2012

For the moment, let's set aside the friction in U.S.-Israeli relations over Iran's nuclear program, which serves neither Washington nor Jerusalem.

The War on Counterrorism
Articles - September 5, 2012

Almost eleven years after the attacks of September 11, 2011, it’s still hard to discern exactly how we are faring in the struggle against radical Islam. The death in May 2011 of Osama Bin Laden was a key counterterrorism victory for the Obama administration—one that, according to the State Department, has helped put al-Qaeda on a “path of decline.” Yet it’s far too early to count the Bin Laden network out, as recent terrorist attacks by the group’s regional franchises in places like Yemen, Iraq and Mali make clear. Perhaps the most curious anomaly of our current counterterrorism fight, however, is the fact that the subject matter experts who serve at its intellectual front lines have found themselves unexpectedly under attack.

The Economics Of Attacking Iran
Articles - August 21, 2012

Will Israel, in fact, attack Iran? That question, a perennial one in the debate over Iran's nuclear program, has gained far greater urgency of late, as it is becoming increasingly clear that Western sanctions have failed to alter the Islamic Republic's strategic trajectory.

Iran's Asian Lifeline: Cut off from Western markets, the mullahs are sending their oil eastward.
Articles - August 17, 2012

The West isn't the only part of the world going to Asia for commerce. Confronted with Western sanctions over its nuclear ambitions, Iran is increasingly turning to Asia's vast markets and its sympathetic governments.

Iran Courts Latin America
Articles - August 5, 2012

In October 2011, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder and FBI director Robert Mueller revealed the thwarting of an elaborate plot by elements in Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington at a posh D.C. eatery, utilizing members of the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel.

The foiled terrorist plot, with its Latin American connections, focused new attention on what had until then been a largely overlooked political phenomenon: the intrusion of the Islamic Republic of Iran into the Western Hemisphere. An examination of Tehran's behavioral pattern in the region over the past several years reveals four distinct strategic objectives: loosening the U.S.-led international noose to prevent it from building nuclear weapons; obtaining vital resources for its nuclear project; creating informal networks for influence projection and sanctions evasion; and establishing a terror infrastructure that could target the U.S. homeland.

Eurasia Security Watch - No. 265
Bulletins - August 1, 2012

Israel weighs possible attack on Syria's chemical arsenal; U.S. hopes for new military base in Tajikistan...; ...while Russia simply hopes to remain; A way out for Assad; Sectarian violence surges in Iraq