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Rocketing Toward War?
Articles - February 20, 2018
 

Military skirmishes and escalating threats between Iran and Israel of late are raising the risks of a catastrophic regional war, prompting questions about what the United States should do to prevent it.

To date, President Donald Trump has focused more attention on defeating the Islamic State group in Syria than on preventing Iran from filling the resulting void with its own military and proxy forces and, in the process, further implanting itself in Syria as part of its quest for a land corridor all the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

 
Iran's Uprising Pits The Country's Old Rulers Against Its Young Citizens
Articles - February 9, 2018
 

Last month, with mass protests underway on the streets of Tehran and other cities, one of Iran's most senior clerics inadvertently sparked an altogether different sort of international incident.

On January 8, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, one of the country's most powerful officials and a potential successor to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, traveled to Germany to receive medical treatment amid rumors of failing health. The visit prompted outrage from human-rights activists, and German authorities — under growing pressure from watchdog groups — contemplated bringing charges against Shahroudi for "crimes against humanity" for his role in directing the imprisonment and torture of numerous opponents of the Iranian regime. The sixty-nine-year-old jurist ultimately decided to flee the Federal Republic in order to avoid the fallout.

 
A Turkish-American Divorce?
Articles - February 5, 2018
 

The United States "is an enemy country. It is a serious threat to our country's existence, its unity, integrity, present and the future. It is carrying out an open attack, and an undeclared war..."

Those aren't the words of the radicals of the Islamic State, whose "caliphate" has been dismembered by America and its international partners over the past year. Nor are they the views of Iran's ayatollahs, now facing a White House that appears committed to curbing their regime's global menace.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 182
Bulletins - February 5, 2018
 

The question of Khamenei's legitimacy;
Using Moscow to hedge against Washington;
Iraq's militias look to Iran

 

 
A New Approach To Iran
Articles - January 17, 2018
 

The recent protests in Iran may be petering out, but the White House is ramping up its response to them. Last week, in tandem with his most recent decision to prolong the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal for another three months, President Trump opened a new front against the Islamic Republic by levying fresh human rights sanctions on a number of key regime figures and institutions.

 
What To Watch For In Iran's Turmoil
Articles - January 8, 2018
 

Will Iran's pro-democracy protests last? As the uprisings that have unexpectedly swept across the Islamic Republic approach their second full week, that's the question on the mind of policymakers in Washington.

 
How Washington Can Influence The Outcome Of Protests In Iran
Articles - January 4, 2018
 

These are heady days in Iran. For more than a week now, thousands of Iranians have rallied publicly against their government, demanding accountability, transparency and an end to the repressive clerical status quo. In the process, they have presented Iran's radical theocratic regime with one of the most profound challenges to its authority since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 
How To Support The Second 'Persian Spring'
Articles - January 2, 2018
 

Could we see a new Iranian revolution in 2018? For nearly a week now, tens of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in various cities throughout the Islamic Republic in the largest mass demonstrations of their kind in nearly a decade. In the process, they have raised the tantalizing possibility that we might in fact be witnessing a second "Persian Spring."

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 181
Bulletins - December 28, 2017
 

Iran's increasingly blue-water navy;
China expanses its economic footprint in Iran;
Exporting the Basij model;
Iranian cultural censorship goes global

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 48
Bulletins - December 7, 2017
 

Boko Haram: Down, but not out;
Dutch fears of female Jihadism;
The Afghan battleground;
Europe's new worry: Balkan radicalization;
Testing Saudi Arabia's new approach

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 180
Bulletins - November 27, 2017
 

Iran's Afghan "Volunteers";
Khatami under fire...;
...while Larijani jockeys for position;
Iran continues its illicit procurement;
A helping hand from Moscow

 
Iran's Imperial Project
Articles - November 21, 2017
 

Iran is on the march in the Middle East.

Over the past year, a steady drumbeat of news reports from the Persian Gulf, intelligence assessments regarding Syria's civil war, and firsthand accounts out of Iraq, Lebanon and beyond has pointed to an inescapable conclusion: Iran is erecting a new empire in the region.

 
The Russian War On Terror
Articles - November 3, 2017
 

Which country ranks as the largest source of foreign fighters for the Islamic State's "caliphate" in Syria and Iraq?

That dubious distinction doesn't belong to a Middle Eastern state, despite the fact that countries such as Saudi Arabia have historically been major contributors of radicals to the Islamic State's ranks. Nor is it a North African nation, even though Tunisia had previously served as the preeminent supplier of fighters for the Syrian front.

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 46
Bulletins - October 30, 2017
 

Ireland on Alert;
Target: America;
The Islamist timber trade;
The persistence of Palestinian "resistance";
Russia's role in the foreign fighter program

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 9: Targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guards
Policy Papers - October 19, 2017
 

The passage this summer of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, a wide-ranging legislative package that imposed new economic pressure on Russia, Iran and North Korea, reignited the debate over U.S. policy toward the Islamic Republic. The relevant provisions of the Act require the White House, pursuant to Executive Order No. 13224, to formally designate the totality of Iran’s clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist organization by no later than October 31st of this year. In his October 13th speech on Iran policy, President Trump confirmed that he will do so...

 
Trump Takes Aim At The IRGC
Articles - October 18, 2017
 

You wouldn't know it from the media coverage surrounding President Trump's October 13th speech on Iran, but the most notable element of the Administration's new, "comprehensive" strategy toward the Islamic Republic isn't its plan to revisit the 2015 nuclear deal formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 179
Bulletins - October 9, 2017
 

Facing hard time in Tehran;
How Iran intimidates international media;
The Islamic Republic's child brides;
A broader stake in Syria

 
Why Trump Will Not Allow The Iran Deal To Stand
Articles - September 29, 2017
 

Those who support the Obama administration's landmark nuclear deal with Iran are nervous, and for good reason. In his Sept. 19 address to the United Nations General Assembly, President Trump gave what was perhaps the clearest signal to date that he has no plans to recertify the agreement (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) next month, as mandated by Congress.

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 45
Bulletins - September 18, 2017
 

An ISIS call to arms;
Tunisia's progress sparks clerical pushback;
Preparing for the return of Russia's jihadis;

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 44
Bulletins - September 6, 2017
 

Hamas-Iran ties: Back on track;
ISIS eyes the Islamic Republic;
The blowback from Russia's Syria strategy;
Turkey's troubling new curriculum;
How not to discredit the Islamic State

 
Iran's Big Move
Articles - September 5, 2017
 

The western Asian nation of Iran is on the cusp of expanding its reach all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel's northern border - a drive that will make its nuclear pursuit, ballistic missile development and terror sponsorship that much more dangerous to the United States and its regional allies.

 
Common Cause Against The Kurds
Articles - August 30, 2017
 

An odd partnership is taking shape in the Middle East, where Iran and Turkey - two countries that have historically been strategic competitors - are suddenly making common cause.

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 43
Bulletins - August 28, 2017
 

China's next Target: The Uyghur language;
Britain bars ISIS returnees...;
...as Tajikistan tries a different tack;
The Islamic State's Russian orphans

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 177
Bulletins - August 21, 2017
 

The Islamic Republic versus the BBC
With an eye on the Kurds, Turkey and Iran tighten ties;
A defiant Majles doubles down

 
Beware Iran's Jihadi Legion
Articles - August 14, 2017
 

Today, the fight against the Islamic State terrorist group has become a top strategic priority of the United States and its allies in the region. In turn, the efforts of Washington and Middle Eastern partners have begun to pay real dividends, with recent months seeing a significant rollback the group's self-declared "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria. But lurking in the background of the current counterterrorism fight is another, and potentially even more significant, long-term threat.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 176
Bulletins - August 14, 2017
 

In Ankara, fears of the Islamic Republic;
Iran expands role in Iraqi security;
An Iran-Latin America coverup;
A looming hydrological crisis;
Iran's clandestine nuclear quest

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 41
Bulletins - July 19, 2017
 

Astana's answer to radicalization;
Europe braces for ISIS returnees;
Turkey draws a red line;
China's social media clampdown

 
Still A Bad Deal
Articles - July 18, 2017
 

Last Friday marked the two-year anniversary of the Obama administration's signature foreign policy achievement: the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, that agreement was intended as a solution to Iran's persistent nuclear ambitions, and as a vehicle to reboot the Iranian regime's relationship with the world.

 
Iran Raises The Stakes
Articles - July 11, 2017
 

With America's global attention largely focused elsewhere, Iran continues to expand its military capabilities - legally and otherwise - forcing the question of what Washington and its regional allies plan to do about it.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 175
Bulletins - June 16, 2017
 

ISIS targets the Islamic Republic;
Iran's war on dance;
A helping hand from Moscow
Why Israel fears Iran's role in Syria

 
Qatar Was A Double Agent In War On Terror
Articles - June 6, 2017
 

Just weeks after the President Trump's inaugural tour of the Middle East, which included significant pressure on the Arab Gulf states to build a regional security architecture to combat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and counterbalance Iran, the prospects for such a construct appear more distant than ever, at least at first glance. Over the weekend, five separate Arab states - Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain - all formally severed their diplomatic ties to the Emirate of Qatar over the latter's support of Islamic extremism in various forms.

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 174
Bulletins - May 31, 2017
 

For Rouhani, four more years...;
...and a more defiant attitude;
Iran and Hamas: Bosom buddies once more;
A wider role in Syria;
Female power in Baluchistan

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 39
Bulletins - May 31, 2017
 

Target: Manila;
Contextualizing ISIS' Afghan presence;
An incentive program for Palestinian terrorism;
England's enemy within

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 38
Bulletins - May 28, 2017
 

The air campaign against the Islamic state heats up...;
...as ISIS focuses on unconventional defense;
ISIS rears its head in the Philippines;
An al-Qaeda call to arms;
...and the quiet campaign against the Bin Laden network;
A media clampdown in Cairo

 
Counter All Extremism
Articles - May 10, 2017
 

President Donald Trump's administration is currently undertaking a review of federal programs established under the rubric of "countering violent extremism." The White House, however, should take note that it is just as important to counter nonviolent extremism. 

 
How Qatar Helped Hamas Get Its Groove Back
Articles - May 2, 2017
 

On Monday, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood offshoot that rules the Gaza Strip, thrust itself back into the international spotlight when it formally unveiled a new organizational charter. The long-discussed and much-debated document - launched with great fanfare by Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal at the upscale Sheraton Hotel in the Qatari capital of Doha - represents a new bid for relevance by the world's premier Palestinian Islamist movement. 

 
Israeli-Palestinian Peace Perspectives
Articles - May 2, 2017
 

The "moderate" Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank, continues to provide generous lifetime stipends, lump-sum payments, health care, tuition and other benefits to Israeli-killing terrorists and their families. 

At the same time, that same entity is threatening to sue Britain's government for rejecting its request that London apologize for issuing the Balfour Declaration in 1917, paving the way for Israel's creation. 

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2127
Bulletins - April 18, 2017
 

Political repression on the rise in Crimea;
A new way to expand Russia's citizenry

 
Terror In Stockholm
Articles - April 11, 2017
 

Last Friday, an ISIS supporter rammed a truck into a department store in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden, killing four people and injuring 15. That same evening, news broke that Swedish police had arrested a 39-year old man from Uzbekistan for complicity in the attack. By Sunday morning, Swedish media reported that the man's social media account indicated his support for both the Islamic State and the Islamic Party of Liberation, Hizb-ut-Tahrir. 

 
The JCPOA Helps Iran's Elites And Hurts Rouhani
Articles - March 29, 2017
 

These are hard times for Hassan Rouhani. With fewer than two months to go until Iran's next national election, currently scheduled to take place on May 19, the long knives are out for the soft-spoken cleric who serves as the country's president. 

 
Iran Emboldened
Articles - March 21, 2017
 

Tehran's new threat to ignore a key plank of the U.S.-led global nuclear agreement offers a timely reminder that, no matter what happens with Iran's upcoming presidential election, the regime is, and will remain, just as dangerous as it's ever been. It also hammers another nail in the coffin of the idea – so cherished by the last administration – that the 2015 deal, with its hundreds of billions in sanctions relief for Iran, would moderate the regime and spur a broader rapprochement between the Islamic Republic and the West. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 36
Bulletins - March 20, 2017
 

ISIS drones take flight;
Russia's Jihadi legion;
Afghan forces push back;
The economic state of the Islamic State;
An extreme education

 
A Refreshing Change At The U.N.
Articles - March 7, 2017
 

Trump administration deliberations about whether the United States should quit the United Nations' Human Rights Council over its anti-Israel obsession reflect a welcome new U.S. approach to Turtle Bay. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 173
Bulletins - March 3, 2017
 

A political dark horse rises;
A route to regional energy dominance;
The debate over IRGC designation...;
...and movement toward an anti-Iranian bloc;
That enduring Russo-Iranian alliance

 
Assessing The Syria Situation
Articles - February 15, 2017
 

The Obama administration's Syria strategy has left along with the former president. The question remains how the United States will continue to be involved in the conflict, if at all. 

 
Why Russia Won't Help Trump On Iran
Articles - February 10, 2017
 

By all appearances, the Donald Trump administration is preparing to attempt a historic reconciliation with Russia. In part, the strategy is aimed at driving a wedge into the long-running strategic partnership between Moscow and Tehran. With the proper incentives, the thinking goes, it might be possible to "flip" Russia. "There's daylight between Russia and Iran, for sure," one foreign official familiar with the White House's deliberations explained. "What's unclear is what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin would demand in return for weakening the alliance." 

 
Will Trump Fire Back At Iran?
Articles - February 1, 2017
 

On Sunday, Iran reportedly test-fired a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile from a test site near Semnan, 140 miles east of Tehran. Iran began production of what it calls the "high-precision" weapon in 2016. The missile flew 600 miles before detonating in what U.S. officials called a "failed test of a reentry vehicle." 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 35
Bulletins - January 18, 2017
 

Egypt's costly counterterrorism policy...;
...faces legislative limites;
Curtains for BH?;
Hamas' evolvng cyber capabilities;
The Taliban take the offensive;
Target: Turkey

 
Iran Strategy Brief No. 8: Iranian Ideology after the Nuclear Deal
Policy Papers - January 11, 2017
 
The Obama administration’s Iran policy has been driven by the conviction that reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program would constitute a historic diplomatic breakthrough, lead to a fundamental transformation in U.S.-Iranian relations, and prompt significant changes in the Islamic Republic’s international behavior. This view was apparently based on a belief that American opposition to Iran’s policies played a critical role in perpetuating Tehran’s destabilizing activities, and that pursuing a rapprochement with the Islamic Republic could consequently lead to more moderate policies.
 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 171
Bulletins - January 4, 2017
 

A new morality crackdown;
Second thoughts about public executions?;
A growing Iranian footprint in the Caucasus...;
...as Russo-Iranian military cooperation heats up