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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...

 
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

 
Trump's Arsenal Against Iran
Articles - December 29, 2016
 

What will the new president do about Iran? 

While still on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump railed repeatedly against President Obama's "disastrous" nuclear deal with Iran. He pledged to tear up the agreement, or at least amend it substantially, as one of his first acts in office. Yet, for a host of reasons, the nuclear pact concluded between the Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany) last summer is likely to prove more resilient than either the president-elect or his advisers hope. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 34
Bulletins - December 26, 2016
 

Boko Haram's economic impact;
ISIS in Afghanistan: Down, but not out;
How the Taliban moves money;
Targeting the cyber caliphate;
ISIS seeks softer targets in Europe;
A helping hand from Riyadh

 
Next Year In Jerusalem?
Articles - December 21, 2016
 

In his March 2016 speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, then-candidate Donald Trump promised that his administration would "move the U.S. embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem." Last week, ambassador to Israel designate David Friedman said he looks forward to working "from the U.S. embassy in Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem." Senior aide Kellyanne Conway has confirmed that the move is a "very big priority for this president-elect, Donald Trump." 

 
The End Of The Iran Deal?
Articles - December 7, 2016
 

President Barack Obama believed that reaching a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program would be a historic diplomatic breakthrough that could lead to a fundamental transformation in U.S.-Iranian relations and, more importantly, to significant changes in Iran's international behavior. But, nearly a year after the deal's implementation, there are no signs of change in Iran, and good reason to believe that the deal is in its final days. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 170
Bulletins - December 5, 2016
 

Single in Tehran;
The regime turns on its own;
An Israeli strike, back on the table;
Iran's newest weapon;
Iran's naval ambitions, revisited

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 33
Bulletins - November 21, 2016
 

The price of Russia's Syria policy;
Germany's vulnerable military;
A costly counterterrorism campaign;
Nigeria's foreign Islamists

 
Getting Serious On The Information Battlefield
Articles - October 25, 2016
 

Today, the power of the United States to communicate with global audiences is being directly challenged by the Islamic State group. Over the past year, political and policy leaders have been amazed at how what was once described by President Barack Obama as a "JV" league terrorist organization could produce a polished magazine and high quality recruiting videos, modify online games and generate a handful of mobile apps, including one targeting children. Moreover, much of this media activity continues to take place, despite recent battlefield setbacks suffered by the group in both Iraq and Syria. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 31
Bulletins - October 7, 2016
 

A step forward for religious for religious pluralism in Cairo;
In Afghanistan, a tactical peace...;
...and militant gains;
Technical innovation against terror 

 
Morocco's Liberal Challengers
Articles - October 5, 2016
 

Ilyas El Omari is on the offensive. The bespectacled 49-year-old activist who heads Morocco's Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) has spent years honing PAM's political message and worldview. Now, with the Kingdom heading into what is shaping up to be a decisive general election on October 7, Omari senses a political opening. 

 
Collapse Over Iran's Missiles
Articles - October 4, 2016
 

The revelation of recent days that, back in January, President Obama agreed that the United Nations should lift its sanctions against two Iranian state banks which financed Iran's ballistic missile development puts the lie to Washington's claims - stubbornly maintained for more than a year - that it was determined to rein in the Islamic Republic's expanding missile program. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 169
Bulletins - October 4, 2016
 

Iran's demographic strategy in Syria;
A casualty of Iran's water woes;
A political reprieve for Rouhani

 
Egypt's Economy Is In Big Trouble
Articles - September 29, 2016
 

Three years ago this summer, Egyptians took to the streets en masse to vent their frustration at the government of then president Mohamed Morsi. The source of their discontent was the widespread economic stagnation and ideologically driven policies that came to punctuate Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government. The result was nothing short of a counterrevolution, as Morsi was ousted by the country's powerful military in an almost-coup led by his then minister of defense, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 29
Bulletins - September 6, 2016
 

Who killed Muhammad al-Adnani?;
German hunkers down...;
...while Italy banks on culture;
Extremists south of the U.S. border

 
The Uncomfortable Alliance
Articles - September 6, 2016
 

Greater cooperation with Russia in the struggle to defeat the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) and other extremist elements in the Muslim World is now being urged by a number of prominent Americans. Russia and America both have a problem with Islamists, goes the argument, so we should work together to defeat the common enemy. 

 
Iran And The New Monroe Doctrine
Articles - September 2, 2016
 

In Washington, conventional wisdom has long held that Iran's presence south of the U.S. border constitutes little more than an axis of annoyance. In this telling, Iran's activities in Central and South America - from numerous commercial and trade deals with various nations to the establishment of cultural centers throughout the region - are disorganized, opportunistic, and ultimately of little consequence.