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Thinking Beyond Petroleum
Articles - January 19, 2010

The funny thing about windows of opportunity is that they have a way of closing. Over the past year, spurred by mounting worries over Iran's nuclear ambitions, Congress has taken up the issue of economic pressure against the Islamic Republic in earnest. The result is a series of sanctions bills aimed at targeting what is commonly viewed as the regime's economic Achilles' Heel: its deep dependence on foreign refined petroleum.

Toughen Up On Iran
Articles - December 11, 2009

When it comes to Iran, the Obama administration could learn a thing or two from Europe. That is because, even as Washington clings doggedly to its plans for "engagement" with Tehran, there are signs that a new consensus is emerging in Europe about confronting the Islamic Republic.

On Nov. 24, the Dutch parliament caused a minor political earthquake on the Old Continent when it voted to designate Iran's powerful clerical army, the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC), as a terrorist group under Netherlands law. The same measure also called for the IRGC to be put on the European Union's terror list--a step that would harmonize U.S. and European approaches toward Iran's ideological army.

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 96
Bulletins - November 19, 2009

Iran's Basijis get younger; IRGC takes control of intelligence...; ...and plans anti-PSYOP commands; Shoring up Khamenei's supremacy; Thumbing their nose at gasoline sanctions

China Reform Monitor - No. 789
Bulletins - November 3, 2009

Al Qaeda threatens Beijing; India: China fueling rebel arms market

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 95
Bulletins - October 31, 2009

Walking back the dog on democracy promotion; Iran finds opportunity within adversity; A new monopoly for the Pasdaran; Scrambling to thwart gasoline sanctions

China Reform Monitor - No. 787
Bulletins - October 21, 2009

Role of PAP clarified; Cheap goods generate backlash in Iran

Make Terrorists Compete On Ideas
Articles - October 13, 2009

In the eight years since Sept. 11, the U.S. has devoted a great deal of funding and thinking to the struggle against radical Islam. There's at least one area where it's fallen short, though: It hasn't mounted a serious economic challenge to the activities and ideologies of terrorist groups on a grassroots level.

China Reform Monitor - No. 785
Bulletins - October 12, 2009

China, neighbors harden claims to Spratleys; CCP bugging cabs in Beijing

HowTo Engage Iran (If You Must)
Articles - September 8, 2009

After months of dithering and delay, the Iranian government appears to have grudgingly accepted the U.S. president's diplomatic overtures. Just shy of the deadline for dialogue set by the White House, the Islamic Republic has announced its readiness to offer new "proposals" for talks over its nuclear program.

The move is a political victory of sorts for Obama, who has made "engagement" with Iran a centerpiece of his Middle East policy. But it might end up being a Pyrrhic victory. If true to form, Iran will likely try to use the upcoming talks with Washington the same way it did previous ones with Europe -- as a way to play for time and add permanence to its nuclear project. For Obama to convince Iran's rulers that the costs of their nuclear effort will far outweigh the perceived benefits, talking alone won't be enough; the White House will need real leverage over Tehran.

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 93
Bulletins - August 14, 2009

Defiant in Tehran; How Iran sees energy sanctions; A legal offensive