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Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 152
Bulletins - November 26, 2014
 

How China helps the IRGC;
New nuclear cooperation with Russia;
A broadcasting controversy;
Iran's covert nuclear work continues;
Iranian blogger released

 

 
Desperate And Dumb
Articles - November 11, 2014
 

Last month, President Barack Obama reportedly wrote a private letter to Iran's supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seeking to tie the fight against the Islamic State group to the ongoing negotiations over Iran's nuclear program. The White House purportedly sought to pressure Iran into reaching an agreement by the November 24 diplomatic deadline by hinting that failing to do so would affect American efforts against the Islamic State group. 

 
Israel — Wild Card
Articles - November 4, 2014
 

To say U.S.–Israeli relations are on the rocks would be something of an understatement. It has been quite obvious for some time that diplomatic ties between Jerusalem and Washington have become badly frayed, with President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu failing to see eye to eye on a range of issues. Even so, bilateral relations are now unquestionably at a new nadir, as a recent bombshell article by Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic details.

 
Should We Be Worried About Iran's Moves In The Western Hemisphere?
Articles - October 31, 2014
 

Sometimes, it's difficult to see the forest for the trees. Optimism may currently be running high in Washington that next month's deadline for negotiations will yield some sort of durable deal over Iran's nuclear program. But amid all of the diplomatic euphoria, one aspect of the Iranian challenge has received remarkably short shrift: its expanding presence and activities in our own hemisphere. 

 
Is the Islamic State Islamic?
Articles - October 14, 2014
 

Nothing could be more curious to Muslims than Western non-Muslims telling them what their religion is about. Would not Christians find it odd to hear from Muslims what the true meaning of their religion is? Nevertheless, after almost every terrorist act against a Westerner, particularly the more gruesome ones like beheadings, Western heads of state reflexively react with protestations that such acts are absolutely un-Islamic, despite the explicit claims of their perpetrators that they are done precisely as religious acts, as they exultantly declare, “Allahu Akbar.”

 
Giving Iran The Store
Articles - October 7, 2014
 

Monday's reported explosion at Iran's secretive Parchin nuclear site - leaving two dead and shattering windows 12 kilometers away - is welcome news to those concerned about Tehran's nuclear progress, but it's likely a mere blip on what seems an increasingly smooth Iranian road to nuclear weaponry. 

For a host of reasons, Washington is growing ever-more desperate for a nuclear deal through which to claim a diplomatic victory, while Tehran is growing less concerned about the ultimate outcome of the ongoing talks and, not surprisingly, more intransigent about offering new concessions. 

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1927
Bulletins - September 30, 2014
 

Russia faces more sanctions;
Some energy pressure on Poland

 

 

 
Putting The Islamic State In Proper Context
Articles - September 17, 2014
 

Quite suddenly, all eyes are riveted on the Islamic State (IS). Ever since its self-proclaimed “emir,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the creation of a new “caliphate” during a speech in Mosul, Iraq this June, his group has become global public enemy number one. 

 
Call It a War and Win It
Articles - September 16, 2014
 

Last week, President Barack Obama pledged to destroy the Islamic State group (also known as ISIS or ISIL). It is worth asking what that means, and whether the United States can actually do it.

 
Confronting The Evolving Peril In Islamic Extremism
Articles - September 11, 2014
 

What a difference a couple of months can make. This summer, the Bipartisan Policy Center released a new report from Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the original co-chairmen of the 9/11 Commission. That study, titled "Today's Rising Terrorist Threat and the Danger to the United States," warned that America was running the risk of becoming a victim of its own counterterrorism success. 

 
An Iranian-Turkish Reset
Articles - July 22, 2014
 

Earlier this summer, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani paid a very public two-day visit to a surprising locale: Ankara, Turkey. The June trip — the first of its kind in nearly 20 years — represented a significant evolution of the political ties between Iran and Turkey. 

 
Iran Won't Slow Down On Ballistic Missiles
Articles - July 18, 2014
 

With time for nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the P5+1 nations (the U.S., UK, Russia, China, France and Germany) running out, and with the White House scrambling to cobble together some sort of deal with Tehran, it's perhaps not surprising that Pentagon's latest annual assessment of Iran's military capabilities has so far garnered little attention, either within the Washington Beltway or outside it. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 149
Bulletins - June 19, 2014
 

Celebrating divorce in Tehran;
How Iran helped Assad get his groove back;
Shippers remain wary;
A new wrinkle in Iranian cyber-espionage

 

 

 
Rouhani's Republic Of Fear
Articles - May 22, 2014
 

Will the real Hassan Rouhani please stand up? Since his election last summer - and especially since the start of nuclear negotiations with the West last fall - Iran's new president has become a darling of the U.S. and European diplomatic set. The soft-spoken leader who now serves as Iran's political face is widely viewed as a "moderate" counterpoint to his firebrand predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as a guarantor of a much-sought-after nuclear deal with the West.

 
Red Line Redux
Articles - May 20, 2014
 

The future path of U.S.-led nuclear negotiations with Iran, which have now reached a crucial stage, may be foreshadowed in the U.S. agreement with Syria to dismantle its chemical weapons program. Any U.S.-Iranian deal-making that follows the Syrian model, however, would prove nothing more than a pyrrhic victory, leaving the Middle East more dangerous and, ultimately, the United States less secure. 

 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 148
Bulletins - May 19, 2014
 

Iran leads in misery;
An addicted government?;
A looming water crisis;
Food supplies, stuck in transit;
Iranian drones on the Syrian battlefield

 

 
Disclosure: Iran's New Diplomatic Weapon
Articles - May 5, 2014
 

Give the Iranian regime credit for creativity. In the midst of extensive nuclear negotiations with the West, officials in Tehran have apparently hit upon a new way to play for time.

 
Why Iran's Missiles Matter
Articles - April 24, 2014
 

In the current debate over the Iranian bomb, the White House is staying quiet about its concerns over the regime’s progress on missile development. It’s the dog that isn’t barking. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 147
Bulletins - April 17, 2014
 

Iran puts Hezbollah's house in order;
The controversy over Aboutalebi;
Iran fights the demographic future;
Iranian energy: Out of the box

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 146
Bulletins - April 3, 2014
 

The IRGC versus Rouhani;
Iran's ties with Hamas: Back on track
Iran's oil export surge;
Fear and loathing in Sana'a;
A tug-of-war over investment in Iran