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Courting 'financial pariah' status
Articles - April 13, 2012

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) was established by the G7 in 1989 to combat money laundering and terrorism finance.

Being on the FATF "high-risk" country list may not sound terrible but, in some circles, it is akin to being labelled a financial pariah.

How Moscow Is Helping To Solve The Iran Problem
Articles - April 12, 2012

Though news reports generally give a very different impression, Russia is actually playing a constructive role in dealing with the multifaceted issue of Iran's nuclear program. One hint came last month, when Russia's second-largest financial institution closed the accounts of Iran's embassy in Moscow. While given little attention by the media on either side of the Atlantic, this move signals the Kremlin's willingness to confront Iran on its march toward nuclearization.

Dim Prospects For Diplomacy With Iran
Articles - April 12, 2012

Tomorrow, the United States and its fellow members of the “P5+1” (Russia, China, France, England and Germany) will sit down once again with Iran for what has been billed as the Islamic Republic’s “last chance” to come to terms with the West regarding its nuclear ambitions. The likely outcome of those talks, however, is already within view—and it is far from encouraging.

A Crack In Europe’s Consensus On Iran
Articles - April 8, 2012

Since the start of the year, mounting concern over Iran's nuclear ambitions has translated into a serious economic offensive on the part of the European Union. Back in January, the European Commission voted on a series of punitive economic measures against Iran, chief among them a pledge by member states to cease imports of oil from the Islamic Republic by mid-summer.

Eurasia Security Watch - No. 255
Bulletins - March 9, 2012

 Saudi-Iraq embrace; Tajikistan feeling social media heat; Rare protest victory in Azerbaijan; Finding common ground on Iran

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1766
Bulletins - February 28, 2012

 The fix is in for Yavlinsky;

A thaw between Moscow and Tokyo
Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1765
Bulletins - February 22, 2012

 Shoring up Kyrgyz security;

Mideast meddling as electoral tactic
Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 115
Bulletins - February 13, 2012

 Iran's Morals Police Venture Online...; ...As Authorities Inch Closer to a National Intranet; Some Strategic Messaging to South America; Sanctions Truly Begin to Bite; Tightening the Fiscal Belt - And Doubling Down on Defense

Iran Strategy Brief No. 5: Iran's Venezuelan Gateway
Policy Papers - February 1, 2012

 For years, the media and the U.S. government have repeated a familiar refrain: that the regime of now-ailing Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez, however annoying, poses no serious threat to the national security of the United States. Compelling evidence, however, suggests otherwise. Under Chavez, Venezuela has systematically opposed U.S. values and initiatives throughout the Western Hemisphere and the world in general. It has tried to influence political events in other Latin American countries, sometimes successfully. It has supported guerrilla movements and terrorist organizations in other countries (most notably Colombia). And it has facilitated the activities of drug traffickers active in the region, even as it has destabilized the regional status quo through massive military purchases.

The most dangerous threat to the U.S. from Venezuela, however, results from its facilitation and encouragement of the penetration of the Western Hemisphere by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Since 2005, with Venezuela’s assistance, Iran has created an extensive regional network of economic, diplomatic, industrial and commercial activities, with significant effect. The sum total of Iran’s declared investments in the region now stands at some $20 billion, at a time when the Iranian economy itself is in exceedingly poor condition. The depths of Iran’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere are all the more surprising—and significant—given that there is no historical or cultural affinity whatsoever between Iran and the countries on this side of the Atlantic. Nevertheless, the Iranian regime in recent years has exhibited an unprecedented level of interest and involvement in the region, facilitated by its burgeoning strategic partnership with Caracas.

Iran Democracy Monitor - No. 114
Bulletins - January 13, 2012

 Wooing Afghanistan; Sanctions Drive Iranian Rial Downward; A Falling Out with Al-Jazeera; Iran's Newest Energy Partner; A New Cyber-Clampdown