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Iran

Our Research & Offerings on Iran
  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Really Bad Bargain: A U.S.-Iranian "Strategic Relationship"

    One of the lessons of statecraft is that mistakes tend to compound themselves. Good options disappear and bad ones proliferate. The hole is dug deeper because desperation convinces you to contemplate options that would never have been considered in better times. This is what I fear may happen next in Iraq. Because we have so few good options, the Obama administration may…

  • Commentary posted July 8, 2014 by Jim Talent Over the Brink

    What is happening in Iraq now has a nightmarish quality. Three years ago, the United States had defeated al-Qaeda in Iraq and set up a fledgling democracy in Iraq. I understand those who believe that Prime Minister Maliki could never have been trusted and Iraq would never have become a real democracy. But the United States didn’t need a democracy in Iraq, or even a…

  • Commentary posted May 4, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Obama's 'process' diplomacy plants seeds for future wars

    Washington would coax Yugoslav strongman Josip Broz Tito away from the Kremlin, tearing a hole in the Iron Curtain without firing a shot. At least, that was the plan. But, after a bit covert diplomacy, some secret missions and even some public gestures, the U.S. gave up. It turned out that Tito's "non-aligned" movement, billed as an effort to build a coalition of…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by James Phillips Obama’s Saudi Summit: Focus on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Terrorism

    President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday amid mounting reports of acute Saudi disillusionment with Obama’s foreign policy. The Saudis, like other Middle Eastern allies including Israel, are concerned that Obama cannot be trusted to safeguard their national interests in the face of Iran’s military buildup, the political turbulence of the…

  • Commentary posted March 9, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. Ukraine crisis will make Iran's mullahs more interested in nuclear weapons

    They called it the Lisbon Protocol. In 1991, the U.S. and Russia agreed to historic reductions in nuclear weapons. But there was a hitch: Russia didn't exactly own all of its nukes. When the Soviet Union collapsed, lots of them were left in the former vassal states of Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. Under the protocol, all the nukes from these countries would be…

  • Commentary posted February 24, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Of Mullahs and Lawyers

    In a recently leaked private phone call, an EU foreign policy official, Helga Schmid, grumbled to the EU’s ambassador to Kiev that it was “very annoying” that the United States had criticized the EU for being “too soft” to impose sanctions on Ukraine. Criticism may be annoying, but EU softness is a fact of life, and the transatlantic trouble over sanctions goes beyond…

  • Commentary posted February 14, 2014 by Peter Brookes Iran’s navy on Valentine’s ‘tour’

    Just as Team Obama tries to make us feel all warm and fuzzy about relations with Iran due to perceived “progress” on the interim (but not nearly final) nuclear deal, Tehran goes and blows it with some, shall we say, “hateful” acts. So much for Valentine’s Day. For instance, after the United States and others started releasing frozen Iranian assets as part of the new…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips Top Five Foreign Policy Priorities for 2014

    The United States faces mounting challenges abroad in 2014. With weak leadership from the White House over the past five years, the U.S. has been confronted and all too often sidelined by America’s adversaries and strategic competitors. The Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a spectacular failure that has led to confusion among traditional U.S.…

  • Commentary posted January 13, 2014 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D. No Clock is Ticking

    Too many in Washington seem to regard the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as an episode of the once-popular TV show 24. They think the clock starts counting down on January 20, and then we’ll wait breathlessly for six months to find out whether the West has successfully sidetracked Iran’s nuclear-weapons program. That might happen in Hollywood. But in the real world, six…

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  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips Top Five Foreign Policy Priorities for 2014

    The United States faces mounting challenges abroad in 2014. With weak leadership from the White House over the past five years, the U.S. has been confronted and all too often sidelined by America’s adversaries and strategic competitors. The Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a spectacular failure that has led to confusion among traditional U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • America at Risk Memo posted June 1, 2010 by Jim Talent A Constitutional Basis for Defense

    Those who have not done so recently would benefit from studying what the United States Constitution says about the federal government’s responsibility to provide for the common defense. Most Americans had to memorize the preamble to the Constitution when they were children, so they are aware that one of the purposes of the document was to “provide for the common…

  • Backgrounder posted February 28, 1979 by James Phillips The Iranian Oil Crisis

    (Archived document, may contain errors) 76 February 28, 1979 THE IRANIAN OIL CRISIS INTRODUCTION Following a lengthy series of paralyzing strikes and sporadic work slowdowns or ganized by anti-Shah oilworkers last fall, the Iranian oil industry ground to a near halt and suspended oil ex ports on December 26, throwing world oil markets into disarray…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

  • Backgrounder posted March 15, 2012 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. How the U.S. Should Respond to Russia's Unhelpful Role in the Middle East

    Abstract: Russia is pursuing a Middle Eastern policy that is designed to reduce U.S. and Western influence in the Middle East, even at the risk of Islamist terrorism, which is a growing problem in Russia. It views the recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa as an American conspiracy to undermine Russia and friendly regimes in the region. Russia’s Soviet…

  • WebMemo posted March 11, 2010 by James Phillips, Helle C. Dale, Janice A. Smith Ten Practical Steps to Liberty in Iran

    Whether it concerns human rights abuses or nuclear weapons programs, the daily news emerging from Iran is grim. Just last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported heightened concern that, because of "extensive" and "credible" information "in terms of the technical detail, the time frame in which the activities were conducted and the people and…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Kim R. Holmes, Ph.D. A Really Bad Bargain: A U.S.-Iranian "Strategic Relationship"

    One of the lessons of statecraft is that mistakes tend to compound themselves. Good options disappear and bad ones proliferate. The hole is dug deeper because desperation convinces you to contemplate options that would never have been considered in better times. This is what I fear may happen next in Iraq. Because we have so few good options, the Obama administration may…

  • Backgrounder posted June 15, 1979 by James Phillips The Iranian Revolution: Long-Term Implications

    (Archived document, may contain errors) 7 89 June 15, 1979 I THE IRANIAN REVOLUTION LONG- TERM IMPLICA TIONS INTRODUCTI ON Several years ago, Richard Helms, former Director of the CIA, and then Ambassador to Iran, proclaimed that "Iran is in geopolitical terms, the real center of the world." The mani fold repercussions of the recent fall of the Shah have…

  • Backgrounder posted February 14, 2011 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D., James Phillips, Owen Graham Iran’s Energy Sector: A Target Vulnerable to Sanctions

    Abstract: Iran’s theocratic Shia regime has used its oil revenues to export the Islamic revolution and to fund an extensive nuclear weapons program. Yet Iran’s energy sector is also its greatest vulnerability, particularly its need to import gasoline to meet domestic demand. The most recent round of U.N. Security Council sanctions and unilateral sanctions by the European…

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  • Issue Brief posted October 6, 2014 by James Phillips The Rise of Al-Qaeda’s Khorasan Group: What It Means for U.S. National Security

    The air strikes against Islamist terrorist groups in Syria that the U.S. launched on September 22 included strikes against a group that few Americans had heard about before: the Khorasan group. Although sometimes mistakenly characterized as a new terrorist group, Khorasan is a new tentacle of an old organization—the al-Qaeda high-command or core group. The rise of the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 27, 2014 by James Phillips Obama’s Saudi Summit: Focus on Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Terrorism

    President Barack Obama will meet with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Friday amid mounting reports of acute Saudi disillusionment with Obama’s foreign policy. The Saudis, like other Middle Eastern allies including Israel, are concerned that Obama cannot be trusted to safeguard their national interests in the face of Iran’s military buildup, the political turbulence of the…

  • Issue Brief posted January 14, 2014 by Nile Gardiner, Ph.D., Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D., James Phillips Top Five Foreign Policy Priorities for 2014

    The United States faces mounting challenges abroad in 2014. With weak leadership from the White House over the past five years, the U.S. has been confronted and all too often sidelined by America’s adversaries and strategic competitors. The Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” strategy has been a spectacular failure that has led to confusion among traditional U.S.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 5, 2013 by James Phillips Greater Iraqi–American Cooperation Needed on Counterterrorism, Syria, and Iran

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki came to Washington last week in search of greater U.S. security assistance in battling the al-Qaeda-led insurgency that increasingly threatens Iraq's internal security as well as regional stability in the oil-rich Persian Gulf. The United States shares Maliki's goal of defeating al-Qaeda's franchise in Iraq, which has expanded into…

  • Backgrounder posted November 4, 2013 by Bruce Klingner Time to Get North Korean Sanctions Right

    Responding to North Korea’s third nuclear test in 2013, President Barack Obama declared that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program was a “threat to the U.S. national security and to international peace and security.”[1] The U.N. Security Council similarly warned that North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats posed “a clear threat to international peace and security.”[2]…

  • Issue Brief posted October 18, 2013 by James Phillips U.S. Should Maximize Pressure on Iran at Nuclear Talks

    The Geneva talks have once again raised hopes for a breakthrough in the long-stalled nuclear negotiations with Iran. Western diplomats have expressed “cautious optimism” about the prospects for success after two days of talks. But Iran has not budged from its defiance of key elements of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions; it has merely adopted a softer and more…

  • Issue Brief posted March 15, 2013 by James Phillips Obama’s Middle East Trip: Security Goals Should Be the Highest Priority

    President Obama’s upcoming trip to Israel, the West Bank, and Jordan comes at a tense time in an increasingly turbulent region. High on his agenda will be halting Iran’s nuclear weapons efforts, forging a common policy on containing the destabilizing spillover effects of Syria’s meltdown, and reviving the long-stalled Israeli–Palestinian peace negotiations. The President…

  • Issue Brief posted January 17, 2013 by James Phillips Hagel, Kerry, and Brennan Confirmation Hearings: Middle East and North Africa Issues

    The United States Senate will soon hold confirmation hearings for the Obama Administration’s nominees for three key positions: Senator John Kerry (D–MA) for Secretary of State, former Senator Chuck Hagel (R–NE) for Secretary of Defense, and White House Chief Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The confirmation…

  • Issue Brief posted July 9, 2012 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Hold WIPO Accountable and Dissuade Future Violations of U.N. Sanctions

    It is becoming increasingly clear that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has transferred technology to North Korea and Iran that are prohibited by United Nations Security Council sanctions and U.S. law. These violations have spurred a State Department investigation and were raised at a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on June 27. The…

  • Issue Brief posted May 22, 2012 by James Phillips Iran Nuclear Talks: U.S. Should Stand Firm

    The revived nuclear talks with Iran, set to resume May 23 in Baghdad, face an uncertain and risky future. Iran has a long history of exploiting diplomatic talks on the nuclear issue as a means of forestalling international pressure, easing sanctions, and buying time for its steadily advancing nuclear program. The United States should stand firm and prevent backsliding by…

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Find more work on Iran