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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

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1756
Bulletins - January 10, 2012

 United Russia under fire;

Moscow in the driver's seat in Minsk
Constraining Iran In The Strait
Articles - January 2, 2012

The past two weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in Iran’s war of words with the West.

Last Wednesday, Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi told Iran’s official news agency, IRNA, that new economic pressure currently being contemplated by the West would come at a steep cost. According to Rahimi, “not a drop of oil” will pass through the Strait of Hormuz — a key strategic waterway that serves as a conduit for as much as a third of the world’s oil — if additional sanctions are levied against the Islamic Republic for its nuclear program. Iran’s top naval commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, has been even more explicit, warning publicly that his country stands ready to block the strait if necessary.

Russia Reform Monitor - No. 1754
Bulletins - December 27, 2011

 For Russia, an Asian pivot of its own;

Tensions rise with Tajikistan
The Importance Of Sanctioning Iran's Central Bank
Articles - December 8, 2011

Ever since the late October release of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s latest report on Iran, the White House has been working overtime to convince the world that it is, in fact, committed to preventing the Islamic Republic from going nuclear. Last month, responding to criticism of his Iran policy from Republican challengers, President Obama argued that the sanctions levied by his Administration to date have had “enormous bite.”

The reality, however, is considerably more modest. While it has publicly pledged its commitment to a serious economic offensive aimed at derailing Iran’s nuclear drive, in practice the White House has done far less than necessary to achieve that objective.

To Stop Iran, Lean On China
Articles - November 8, 2011

TODAY, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report on Iran’s nuclear program. It provides the most convincing evidence to date that Iran is close to producing a nuclear weapon.

But as Iran nears the nuclear threshold, the best way to stop it may be by punishing the Chinese companies that supply Tehran and enable its nuclear progress.