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Trump And Iran: What The Next Administration Can Do
Articles - November 16, 2016
 

The United States’ relationship with Iran tops the list of foreign policy issues that will confront President-elect Donald Trump when he takes office in January. Like many of the other Republican presidential candidates, Trump was an early and staunch opponent of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the controversial nuclear deal concluded last summer between six world powers and Iran. But Trump took up contradictory positions on the deal over the course of his campaign, at times promising to tear it up and at others suggesting he would simply amend it.

 
Iran And China Get Cozy
Articles - October 28, 2016
 

Scattered among the hundreds of kiosks that made up the massive China-Eurasia Expo held in the western Chinese city of Urumqi in late September were a handful of Iranian rug merchants plying their wares. They didn't seem to sell much, but they weren't worried. The merchants, like the Iranian government itself, were looking ahead - and there are plenty of opportunities these days, particularly in China. 

 
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

 
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. 

 
Iran Agreement Won't Stop Growing Menace From Foe
Articles - August 31, 2016
 

Years from now, historians are sure to view the nuclear deal concluded last year between Iran and the P5+1 powers - the U.S., U.K., Russia, China, France and Germany - as the greatest foreign policy achievement of President Obama's second term. But it is far less clear that they will see the agreement as having advanced America's strategic interests. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 168
Bulletins - August 30, 2016
 

Iran's Iraqi beachhead gets bigger;
A new push into Latin America;
Russian fighters in Iran?
Iran's newest investor
 

 
Iran's Ahmadinejad Is Betting On A Comeback
Articles - August 25, 2016
 

Does anyone remember Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Until recently, the Islamic radical and former military officer who served as Iran's sixth president could be considered something of a political footnote. 

 
Humiliation on the High Seas
Articles - August 25, 2016
 

The United States was humiliated this week when the USS Nitze came under simulated attack by four Iranian missile and torpedo-equipped speedboats in international waters. Despite American warnings, radio calls, flares and foghorns, two of the boats came within a few hundred yards of the Nitze. Iran is harassing American naval warships in the Persian Gulf while Washington refuses to acknowledge Iranian threats for reasons that are both political and practical.

 
Blowing Up America's Nuke Policy
Articles - August 16, 2016
 

President Barack Obama is considering making a "no first use" declaration regarding U.S. nuclear weapons. Under this framework, it would be the policy of the United States not to resort to using nuclear weapons in a potential crisis unless another country did first. This is widely seen as a legacy move in the final months of Obama's presidency, a way to cement his anti-nuclear reputation in history. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 26
Bulletins - July 29, 2016
 

Sisi's appeal;
Terrorism and the internet of things;
The Islamic State's shifting strategy;
Jittery in Seoul;
Al-Qaeda reemerges in South Asia;
ISIS targets African youth

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 167
Bulletins - July 29, 2016
 

Iran still seeks nukes...quietly;
A second act for Ahmadinejad;
Iran shakes up its military;
Some economic breathing room from the FATF;
Iran trains its Afghan legion

 
A Bitter Birthday For The Iran Deal
Articles - July 14, 2016
 

Before the nuclear deal between Iran and the countries of the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, China, France and Germany) was concluded a year ago today, the true extent of the compromise struck over Iran's nuclear ambitions wasn't yet publicly known.

 
The Iran of Old
Articles - July 12, 2016
 

As the global nuclear deal with Iran marks its one-year anniversary this week, Tehran is maintaining its fierce anti-Americanism, receiving $100 billion-plus in sanctions relief with which it can better confront the United States in its region and beyond, and apparently trying to cheat its way to nuclear weaponry. 

 
Strategic Primer - Drones
Policy Papers - June 20, 2016
 

Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAs, or drones) are playing an increasingly important role in modern warfare, and performing a growing nunmber of surveillance and reconnaissance missions at home and abroad. This Primer describe how the United States, as well as our allies and our enemies, are using drones, discusses challenges posed by RPAs, and offers recommendations for future defense planning. 

 
 
Iran's Indian Opening
Articles - June 8, 2016
 

Nearly a year after its passage, the nuclear deal with Iran - formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - remains a political football in Washington. In response to pressure from Tehran, the Obama administration continues to seek ever-greater sanctions relief for the Iranian regime. The justification propounded by administration officials, from Secretary of State John Kerry on down, is that Iran has yet to reap real benefits from the deal and, therefore, a further sweetening of the pot is necessary to ensure its continued compliance with the terms of the deal. 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 24
Bulletins - June 6, 2016
 

Palestinian terror groups eye drone warfare;
The Kosovo crucible;
Al-Qaeda's new method of economic warfare;
Rising terrorist activity within the United States;
For ISIS, necessity is the mother of invention;
Walling off Jordan

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 166
Bulletins - June 6, 2016
 

A tussle with Texas over state-level sanctions;
In Iran, brightening energy prospects...;
...and enduring grievances;
An Iranian foothold in Kurdistan;
Iran versus the internet, again

 
Ignoring Iran's Abuse
Articles - May 31, 2016
 

"I can assure you," Wendy Sherman, President Barack Obama's lead negotiator on the Iran nuclear deal, said the other day, "that if Iran takes truly horrific terrorist action, or truly horrific human rights action, that people will respond." Uh huh. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No.165
Bulletins - May 26, 2016
 

Some advice from the IMF;
Tehran bucks the OPEC trend;
Iran, India tightens ties...;
...as Tehran looks east;
The SCO sizes up the Islamic Republic
 

 
Global Islamism Monitor - No. 23
Bulletins - May 23, 2016
 

Hamas, out to sea;
Pushing back in Pakistan;
Penetrating the Taliban;
London's indoctrination central;
A shrinking caliphate

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 164
Bulletins - May 18, 2016
 

Leveraging Latin American navies;
Iran's (even stronger) morality police;
The newest investor in Iran's nuclear program: America;
Iran rewards its foreign legion

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 163
Bulletins - April 18, 2016
 

Green movement leader still languishes;
The JCPOA's energy dividend;
Europe becomes the Islamic Republic's lobbyist;
Iran sets its sights on India;
An Iranian General in Moscow

 
Making a Bad Iran Deal Worse
Articles - April 14, 2016
 

We're witnessing a strange spectacle in U.S. foreign policy, one with no obvious precedent: President Barack Obama is trying desperately to protect his cherished nuclear deal with Iran, making one concession after another in response to Iran's post-deal demands to ensure that Tehran doesn't walk away from it.

 
Obama's Iran Sanctions Bait-and-Switch
Articles - April 5, 2016
 

Last week, a fresh political scandal erupted on Capitol Hill over Iran. At issue was a new plan being considered by the Obama administration to provide Iran's ayatollahs with limited access to the U.S. financial system as a sweetener for their continued compliance with their government's 2015 nuclear deal with the nations of the P5+1. 

 
Strategic Primer - Cybersecurity
Policy Papers - April 1, 2016
 

The goal of the new Strategic Primer initiative is to provide a concise, comprehensive overview of specific defense technology issues presented in a clear, direct, and graphical manner that serves as an accessible reference to policymakers. Volume 2 of the series focuses on Cybersecurity.

 
 
Our Quickly Unraveling Nuclear Deal
Articles - March 22, 2016
 

Iranians are famously savvy negotiators, so recent revelations that, under the U.S.-led global nuclear deal, Iran has far more leeway than we had thought to hide its nuclear progress and test ballistic missiles shouldn't surprise us. 

It should, however, alarm us. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 162
Bulletins - March 15, 2016
 

Iran's elections: Less than meets the eye;
The Iranian military goes on the sectarian offensive;
A soaring execution rates;
Nuclear oversight of Iran shrinks 

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2047
Bulletins - March 14, 2016
 

Russia goes its own way on Afghanistan;
Amnesty: Russia guilty of "war crimes" in Syria

 

 
No Means To Muster
Articles - March 10, 2016
 

In the current political season, it's the policy dog that isn't barking. 

Over the past several primary debates, candidates on both sides of the aisle have sparred at length over national security, offering contrasting - if still vague - strategies for dealing with Russia, the Islamic State and Iran, among other foreign policy challenges. But precious little attention has so far been paid to a more fundamental question: Does the U.S. military actually have the resources to adequately respond to today's global threats? 

 
An Ominous Election In Iran
Articles - March 1, 2016
 

On Friday, Iranians went to the polls to select new representatives for the country's legislature, known as the Majles, and its Assembly of Experts, the powerful clerical body that oversees the performance of Iran's supreme leader. The results reflect a stronger-than-expected showing from the country's so-called "reformist" camp, particularly the political circles surrounding Iranian president Hassan Rouhani. 

 
Iran's Eurasian Adventure
Articles - February 24, 2016
 

As expected, last summer's nuclear deal is already shaping up to be an economic boon for Iran. From stepped-up post-sanctions trade with countries in Europe and Asia to newfound access to some $100 billion in previously escrowed oil revenue, the agreement (formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA) has put the country on the path toward a sustained national recovery. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 161
Bulletins - February 23, 2016
 

Iran's campaign against the Baha'i continues;
Bahrain in the crosshairs...again;
Iranian attitudes, post-JCPOA;
Tehran's foreign legion;
Iran makes new nuclear plans

 
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 2042
Bulletins - February 23, 2016
 

Wary in Minsk;
Gaming Russia's designs on the Baltics

 

 

 
Iran's Hard-Line Elections
Articles - February 23, 2016
 

Henry Kissinger famously remarked some time ago that Iran must decide whether it wants to be "a nation or a cause." For decades, U.S. presidents of both parties have been trying to coax Tehran toward the former and away from the latter. 

Most recently, the U.S.-led global nuclear agreement with Iran - with its scores of billions in sanctions relief that President Obama hoped Iran would invest to improve the living standards of its people - was designed to convince Tehran to abandon its revolutionary ways and become a nation in good standing. 

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 355
Bulletins - February 17, 2016
 

Iran's expanding Eurasian horizons;
In Turkmenistan, the constitutional fix is in;
Central Asia feels Russia's economic pain

 
Iran's Road To Easy Wealth
Articles - February 2, 2016
 

Was the Iran nuclear deal really all about nuclear weapons, from Tehran's point of view? Or did the mullahs play the world for suckers as a road to easy wealth? 

 
Eurasia Security Watch - No. 355
Bulletins - January 17, 2016
 

 

Iran's expanding Eurasian horizons;
In Turkmenistan, the constitutional fix is in;
Central Asia feels Russia's economic pain;

 

 
Iran's Perilous Nuclear Lesson for North Korea
Articles - January 13, 2016
 

North Korea made international news last week when it declared that it had successfully carried out an underground test of a hydrogen bomb. The announcement touched off fevered speculation in Washington about the nature of the test itself (among other things, the yield is believed to have been to small to have been a thermonuclear device), as well as its larger geopolitical significance.

 
Fallout Ploy: Iran's Cyberwarfare Contingency Plan
Articles - January 12, 2016
 

Iran's cyberwarriors are back in action. Late last fall, The New York Times reported that Iranian hackers had carried out an extensive hack on U.S. State Department employees. Among the victims were U.S. diplomats working on the Middle East and on Iran specifically, who had their email compromised and their social media accounts infiltrated. The hack was the latest in what U.S. officials say are increasingly aggressive attempts to glean information about U.S. policies toward Iran in the wake of this summer's P5+1 nuclear deal. 

 
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 160
Bulletins - December 31, 2015
 

Iran seeks restitution - and retribution;
The Islamic Republic's deepening water woes;
Iranian cyberwarfare, resurgent;
Gaming Iran's next supreme leader

 
A Much Needed Post-Obama Course Correction On Iran
Articles - December 15, 2015
 

With most Americans focused on the Islamic State terrorist group, Washington is poised to greatly expand the dangers to U.S. national security on another front - by proceeding to execute the Iran nuclear accord while Tehran ignores its obligations under it and related United Nations Security Council resolutions. 

 
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...;
...as 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