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Iranian Devolution: Tehran Fights The Digital Future
Articles - November 23, 2015

As we contemplate the complex diplomacy that created the recent agreement between the international community and Iran regarding the Islamic Republic's nuclear future, it is worth remembering Thomas Friedman's momentarily famous remark of a few years ago that, whatever else it may be, Iran is also a country ripe for catalytic political change. In passing this judgment, the New York Times columnist took special note of Iran's youthful and vibrant population, the deep knowledge base of Iranian society as a whole, and its interconnectedness with the outside world.


South Asia Security Monitor - No. 382
Bulletins - November 19, 2015


Kabul to buy Helos from Delhi, despite Pak concerns;
China's top brass to tour Pakistan and India;
Islamic State joins Taliban splinter group in Afghanistan;
India calls for South China Sea code of conduct



A Role For China To Rein In Iran
Articles - November 18, 2015

Beijing is bullish on Iran. In meetings there earlier this month, we heard senior government and party officials express uniform support and optimism in their assessment of the nuclear agreement struck this summer between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 powers, terming it "good for Iran and good for the world." 

The first part is certainly true. Iran has emerged as the undisputed winner of the long-running negotiations with the West over its nuclear ambitions. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 13
Bulletins - November 16, 2015

Al-Qaeda pushes back;
Hezbollah's growing arsenal...and why Israel worries;
The Islamic State sets its sights on the Kremlin...; Moscow takes stock


South Asia Security Monitor - No. 381
Bulletins - November 12, 2015


Iran lauds Pak for not joining Yemen war;
Afghanistan seeking arms from Russia;
Pakistan gets free jets from Turkey;
India, Sri Lanka begin drills



Obama's Iran Gamble Flops
Articles - November 5, 2015

Like the optimistic boy in Ronald Reagan's charming quip who searches through pile-high manure in hopes of finding a pony, the Obama administration continues trying to entice the cooperation of Iran on regional issues even in the face of its growing hostility toward the United States.

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 159
Bulletins - October 27, 2015

Iran's mixed economic bag;
New horizons for the Russian-Iranian alliance;
Legal troubles for the JCPOA;
Iran's costly campaign in Syria


Needed: A Strategy For Containing Iran
Articles - October 27, 2015

Last Sunday, Iran and the P5+1 countries (the U.S., U.K., France, China, Russia, and Germany) formally adopted the new nuclear agreement concluded this summer. In coming days, under the terms of the deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the Islamic Republic is obliged to begin implementing a series of curbs on its nuclear program. 

A Nuclear Deal with Iran: Managing the Consequences
Policy Papers - October 7, 2015

The announcement of a nuclear deal in July 2015 brought to a close nearly two years of intensive negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 powers (the U.S., UK, France, Russia, China and Germany). It also ushered in a new — and arguably more challenging — phase of American policy in the Middle East...

Israel Braces For Obama's Bad Iran Deal
Articles - September 15, 2015

JERUSALEM - It's all over but the shouting. Over the past week, the political tug-of-war over President Obama's controversial nuclear deal with Iran has tilted decisively in favor of the White House. 

Despite widespread disapproval among the American electorate, and last-ditch attempts by some in Congress to delay its passage, it increasingly appears that the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, will soon be a done deal. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 10
Bulletins - September 4, 2015

Life in an ISIS economy;
A free-for-all in Egypt;
Cairo's new counterterrorism ally;
Meet the Taliban's new leader;
Boko Haram expands its ambit


Pull The Plug On The Iran Deal
Articles - September 3, 2015

When the proposed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 powers was announced in July, it was sold as a tough deal with robust verification that blocked Iran's pathways to nuclear weapons and would lead to peace and stability in the region. However, it soon became apparent that the deal is much weaker than its proponents first suggested. With a vote on Capitol Hill approaching, members of Congress who rushed early to support the proposed deal need to take another look at their positions. The deal as announced weeks ago is already falling apart. 

Why Obama Will Open A US Embassy In Iran
Articles - August 18, 2015

What's next after the Obama administration's opening to Cuba? Why, an embassy in Tehran, of course. 

On Aug. 14, in a ceremony replete with pomp and circumstance, Secretary of State John Kerry presided over the formal re-opening of the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba. The occasion marked the culmination of nearly two years of quiet diplomacy between the White House and the Castro regime. 

Nothing In Moderation
Articles - August 18, 2015

 In July, President Barack Obama said that he hoped the proposed nuclear deal with Iran could lead to continued conversations with the Islamic regime "that incentivize them to behave differently in the region, to be less aggressive, less hostile, more cooperative," and to generally behave in the way nations in the international community are expected to behave. The most optimistic proponents of the deal believe that the process could open the door to more comprehensive detente, empower Iranian moderates and lead to a gradual, peaceful form of regime change - a change of heart, if not of leadership. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 9
Bulletins - August 13, 2015

Target: Britain;
A new leader for Boko Haram;
Taking stock of the anti-ISIS effort;
How web 2.0 aids the counterterrorism fight;



North Korea: Iran's Pathway To A Nuclear Weapon
Articles - August 13, 2015

A central plank of the Obama administration's case for the nuclear deal just concluded by the P5+1 powers is that the agreement closes off "all pathways" by which the Iranian regime could acquire a nuclear capability, at least for the coming decade. 

Iran's European Enablers
Articles - August 11, 2015

Not all that long ago, it seemed as if the United States could learn a thing or two from Europe when it came to economic pressure on Iran. Today, a great deal has changed. 

Even as the fledgling Obama administration stuck doggedly to its "engagement" policy toward Tehran, European capitals were rapidly heading in the opposite direction. In November 2009, in a move that caused nothing short of a political earthquake on the Old Continent, a majority of the Dutch parliament formally voted to place Iran's clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), on the European Union's terror list. 

Missile Defense Briefing Report - No. 338
Bulletins - August 5, 2015

Iranian air defense improvements?;
Russia expands electronic warfare capability;
Defending Israeli airliners;
Russia incorporates blimp-based missile defense radar;
Turkey's indigenous defenses mature;
North Korea improves missiile launch capabilities



Eurasia Security Watch - No. 344
Bulletins - August 5, 2015

Turkey takes off gloves in battle against ISIS;
Iraqi forces attack Islamic state base in Ramadi;
Iran accuses Bahrain of stoking Gulf tensions;
Fighting continues in Yemen as ceasefire quickly unravels;
Kyrgyz leader says U.S. 'sought chaos' by decorating dissident


99 Problems With Obama's Iran Math
Articles - August 4, 2015

President Barack Obama says that 99 percent of the world supports his proposed nuclear deal with Iran. He had better check his math. 

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 158 - SPECIAL ISSUE: The Iran Nuclear Deal
Bulletins - July 28, 2015

In Washington, worries over latent nuclear potential;
A shot in the arm for Iran's military budget;
Fear and loathing in Riyadh...;
...and Israel




Flood Of Cash To Iran Dwarfs Marshall Plan
Articles - July 28, 2015

Buried within the 150-plus pages of technical minutia and regulations that make up the recently concluded nuclear deal between the P5+1 powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran lies a stunning revelation, the full import of which has not yet been adequately appreciated by the international community. It is that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known, is designed to serve as nothing less than a Marshall Plan for the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. 

The Iran Deal Will Make Matters Worse
Articles - July 23, 2015

The White House says the only alternative to the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran is warHowever it is the deal itself that is pushing the Middle East towards conflict. 

If North Korea Got The Bomb, Iran Will Too
Articles - July 7, 2015

If North Korea could develop and test a nuclear weapon, even under a stringent arms control regime, why can't Iran also build a bomb under a far less ample nuclear deal? 

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 157
Bulletins - July 6, 2015

Tehran doubles down in Afghanistan;
Iran's hand in Yemen's chaos;
A deepening water crisis;
For Iran, brightening economic horizons;
The tussle of the S-300


Global Islamism Monitor - No. 8
Bulletins - July 1, 2015

Al-Shabaab versus the AU;
The U.S. fight against ISIS, year one;
Trepidation in Paris...;
...and mobilization in Tunis;
Militant retribution in Egypt


Supreme Irony
Articles - June 30, 2015

Those in America's foreign policymaking circles who are concerned about the emerging U.S.-led nuclear agreement with Iran are increasingly pinning their hopes not on Washington changing its negotiating posture but, instead, on Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei walking away from the table.

Why Iran's Past Nuclear Actions Matter
Articles - June 23, 2015

It would be fair to say that the past year-and-a-half of nuclear talks with Iran has not been America's finest negotiating hour. But even by the comparatively low standards of U.S. diplomacy to date, the collapse of the American position in recent days has been nothing short of breathtaking.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 7
Bulletins - June 22, 2015

In Syria, a sinister synergy;
ISIS makes inroads in southeast Asia...;
...while Islamism flourishes in Central Asia;
Among the OIC nations, the start of a strategy;
The Dutch versus the veil;
How British Jihadis now find their way to the Syrian front


Iran Strategy Brief No. 7: Iran's Various Voices
Policy Papers - June 17, 2015

Is the Islamic Republic of Iran a country or a cause? For decades, the question is one that has bedeviled Western observers. Foreign politicians and diplomats long have struggled to reconcile the Iranian regime’s radical rhetoric and destructive international behavior with its pragmatic participation in numerous treaty arrangements, and its prominent role in various multilateral forums.

Another Day, Another Cave
Articles - June 16, 2015

If, as Marx taught, history repeats itself "first as tragedy, then as farce," then Washington's latest reported concession proves that U.S.-led nuclear negotiations with Iran have moved from the tragic to the farcical. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 6
Bulletins - June 5, 2015

Hard times for the PIJ;
Western strategy against the Islamic State: More of the same;
Turkey changes tack;
A Balkan anti-Islamism effort;
ISIS takes aim at the Taliban...;
...While the rift with Al-Nusra deepens

Get Ready To Scrap The Iran Nuclear Talks
Articles - June 2, 2015

"Interviews with scientists is completely out of the question and so is inspection of military sites," Abbas Araqchi, Iran's senior negotiator on its nuclear program, announced on state television on Saturday, just as Secretary of State John Kerry was conferring with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a final push to meet the June 30 deadline for an Iran nuclear agreement.

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 5
Bulletins - May 22, 2015

Britain's Jihadis return home;
Pushback in Tunisia;
How the Islamic state is sneaking into Europe;
The Islamic State's resilient terror economy;
In the Sahara, cracks in Islamist identification;
Australia's hard line


Global Islamism Monitor - No. 4
Bulletins - May 1, 2015

In Georgia, a grassroots response to ISIS;
Unlikely allies in the Sinai;
Tackling education in Egypt;
Hamas gains in the West Bank;
The Islamic state's next casualty: The Taliban 

What We Don't Know About Iran Could Hurt Us
Articles - April 30, 2015

To hear the Obama administration tell it, the framework nuclear accord agreed to between the P5+1 powers and Iran last month in Lausanne, Switzerland is a good deal. The White House has pledged that the final agreement to be concluded in coming weeks, backed up by a robust monitoring and verification regime, will block Iran's pathways to a bomb for at least a decade - and perhaps considerably longer. 

Iran: Isolated No Longer
Articles - April 27, 2015

Less than a month after it was signed in Lausanne, Switzerland, the framework nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers is already beginning to pay dividends - for Iran, that is. 

Even before the April 2 accord, the enforced isolation that brought Iran's ayatollahs to the nuclear negotiating table back in 2013 had begun to erode, progressively undermined by hungry investors eager to return to "business as usual" with the Islamic Republic. But since the framework deal was signed, the floodgates have opened in earnest. 

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 156
Bulletins - April 24, 2015

Israel in the crosshairs;
The IRGC and the nuclear deal;
Iran's new project: "Ground Zero"
After Lausanne, new overtures from Russia;
...and China

Iran Is Already Winning
Articles - April 21, 2015

As global talks over Iran's nuclear program resume in Vienna this week, one can't help wonder whether, in a larger sense, the die of an Iranian regional, military and economic victory has already been cast. From Washington to Berlin, Moscow to Beijing, and many places in between, Iran's isolation is disappearing as governments and businesses prepare to exploit its return to global respectability. 

Global Islamism Monitor - No. 3
Bulletins - April 20, 2015

Targeting the Islamic State's antiquities trade;
Boko Haram's youngest victims;
The Islamic state's Ba'athist roots;
The Islam state and Russia 

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 155
Bulletins - April 13, 2015

Iran, P5+1 strike tentative nuclear deal...;
...but is there a meeting of the minds?;
Hedging on verification in Tehran;
Mixed reaction in the Middle East;


5 Reasons Iran Nuke Deal Fails
Articles - April 9, 2015

No sooner had the P5+1 powers and Iran announced on April 2 that they had agreed upon the framework of a nuclear deal than its supporters began to spin the results. To hear the boosters tell it, the preliminary agreement represents a victory for proponents of peace and a defeat for warmongers everywhere. That sort of simplistic rhetoric may play well on a political level, but there are real strategic reasons to be skeptical of the impending deal. 

Obama's Ill-Advised Gamble
Articles - April 7, 2015

Of the new framework accord with Iran over its nuclear program, President Barack Obama said he hopes "that we can conclude this diplomatic arrangement - and that it ushers a new era in U.S.-Iranian relations - and, just as importantly, over time, a new era in Iranian relations with its neighbors." 

Missile Defense Briefing Report - No. 335
Bulletins - April 1, 2015

New Indo-Israeli missile defense cooperation;
North Korea's missile progress unnerves U.S.;
Iran plays defense...;
...and offense;
Seoul examines its options;
In Poland, missile defense as a check on Russian agressions


Iran Is to Blame for the Palestinians' Plight
Articles - March 31, 2015

If you go by President Barack Obama's rhetoric, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has single-handedly sunk the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The United States has been forced to "re-assess our options," the commander in chief has said, including supporting Israel at the United Nations, on the basis of Netanyahu's election-eve statement opposing a two-state solution.

Netanyahu's Win
Articles - March 21, 2015

The Israeli electorate has spoken. After a bitterly acrimonious political campaign, and an election on March 17th that saw the highest voter turnout (72.3 percent) in recent memory, Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has received a reinvigorated mandate to govern. 

Netanyahu's Win
Articles - March 21, 2015

The Israeli electorate has spoken. After a bitterly acrimonious political campaign, and an election on March 17th that saw the highest voter turnout (72.3 percent) in recent memory, Prime Minister Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu has received a reinvigorated mandate to govern. 

Congress Must Derail Obama’s Iran Debacle
Articles - March 18, 2015

You wouldn't know it from the mainstream media, but President Obama has an Iran problem. His administration has wagered - and wagered big - on the idea of a nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. But the effort is increasingly unpopular, and a hard sell among the American electorate. 

Relax about Republicans' letter to Iran
Articles - March 11, 2015

A firestorm erupted Tuesday over the letter by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark. and 46 other Senators to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, laying out their view of the ongoing negotiations regarding Iran's nuclear program. Critics of the letter started throwing around words like unprecedented, illegal, even treasonous.

Nuclear Musings
Articles - March 10, 2015

From today's diary entry of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: 

Ah, the Americans. When it comes to our nuclear weapons program, they leave us with only good choices! 

On the one hand, I can drag out the talks beyond this month's latest deadline because the desperate Americans certainly will agree to keep talking. That's how we went from the six-month interim deal in November 2013, through a deadline in July 2014, and then through another deadline in November 2014.