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Our Research & Offerings on Iran
  • Commentary posted May 20, 2016 by James Phillips The Nuclear Deal Hasn't Changed Iran

    Under the Iran nuclear agreement, key restrictions on Tehran’s nuclear operations will be lifted in ten to fifteen years. This makes no sense unless the Obama administration believes that Iran’s dictatorship has changed its spots and can now be trusted to uphold the nuclear nonproliferation commitments it has repeatedly violated in the past. The administration has hinted…

  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by James Phillips The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Iran is consolidating its gains on multiple fronts under the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany). The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that addressed the nuclear issue has also bolstered Iran’s theocratic dictatorship in the economic, trade, political, diplomatic, military, and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2016 by James Phillips Obama Needs to Mend Fences at Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

    President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman on Wednesday and with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Thursday. His trip is a follow-up to the May 2015 summit at Camp David that the President convened with leaders of the six GCC member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. President…

  • Issue Brief posted April 14, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Lifting of Sanctions on Iran Complicates Policy Options

    In a landmark agreement reached in January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency judged that Iran was compliant with its internationally agreed upon nuclear obligations. The nuclear deal that the Obama Administration helped to negotiate remains controversial and contested in the U.S. In fact, U.S. commitments under it could well be overturned by the next President.…

  • Posted on January 17, 2016 by James Phillips Implementation Day: Time for Iran to Cash In on Sanctions Relief and Hostages

    The arrival of Implementation Day triggered celebrations in Tehran. And well it should. Iran is now set to cash in,...…

  • Posted on January 14, 2016 by Cully Stimson / James Phillips Q&A: Iran, the American Sailors, and Current Laws

    Given the news that Iran held U.S. naval personnel and their two vessels for a day or so, and broadcast the images and...…

  • Posted on January 13, 2016 by Philip Wegmann Conservatives Condemn Obama's Silence on Sailors Captured by Iran

    As President Obama prepared to make his final State of the Union address, news came that Iran had seized 10 American...…

  • Commentary posted January 7, 2016 by Peter Brookes Saudi Execution Fuels Regional Rift

    Well, it looks like the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have decided to kick off the New Year by throwing another log on the already-roaring fire that is burning much of the Middle East. A bigger blaze that engulfs even more of the region isn’t out of the question. The latest crisis revolves around Riyadh’s mass execution of 47 people last…

  • Posted on January 5, 2016 by James Phillips Obama’s Passive Acceptance of Iranian Provocations Helps Fuel Rising Iranian-Saudi Tensions

    Saudi-Iranian relations have fallen to a new low after Saudi Arabia executed a Shiite cleric on Jan. 2 and Iran’s...…

  • Posted on December 23, 2015 by James Phillips Why Is Obama Administration Siding With Iran Over Congress?

    The Obama administration’s controversial nuclear deal with Iran has generated a diplomatic kerfuffle that could limit...…

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  • 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 May 1, 2015 by James Phillips Regime can't be trusted to honor agreement

    The emerging nuclear deal with Iran has numerous flaws that could dangerously undermine U.S. national security. It lets Iran maintain a huge nuclear infrastructure that already far exceeds legitimate civilian needs. That includes illicit nuclear facilities, built in violation of Iran's nuclear nonproliferation commitments. Particularly worrisome are provisions allowing…

  • 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.…

  • Backgrounder posted January 15, 2010 by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D. Russia's Iran Policy: A Curveball for Obama

    The Obama Administration hopes that Russia will assist with U.S. efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear program. However, a review of Russian policy on Iran since the mid-1990s under Presidents Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, and Dmitry Medvedev demonstrates that Russia's interests in Iran fundamentally diverge from the U.S. agenda. Powerful Russian special…

  • Issue Brief posted February 10, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Negotiations: Understanding Key Issues

    The Obama Administration has bent over backward in an effort to secure a nuclear agreement with Iran. In principle, it has accepted Iran’s illicit uranium enrichment activities, the heavy-water reactor at Arak that could become a plutonium bomb factory, and Iran’s continued stonewalling of the investigation of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). These…

  • 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 January 11, 2008 by James Phillips The Iran National Intelligence Estimate: A Comprehensive Guide to What Is Wrong with the NIE

    U.S. efforts to contain Iran and prevent it from attaining nuclear weapons have been set back by the release of part of the most recent National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran's nuclear program. "Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,"[1] the unclassi­fied summary of the key judgments of the NIE, con­tained a stunning bombshell: the conclusion that Iran halted…

  • Issue Brief posted May 14, 2015 by James Phillips Preparing for the Approaching Syrian Endgame

    Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship has been rocked by a string of military defeats and by internal tensions within the minority Alawite-dominated regime that is battling for its life against a rising tide of predominantly Sunni rebel groups. Casualties, defections, and loss of territory have severely undermined the Syrian Army and Syria’s security services, forcing the Assad…

  • Backgrounder posted December 8, 2011 by Ladan Archin, James Phillips More International Pressure Needed to Advance Freedom in Iran

    Abstract: Iran will remain a hostile power that poses threats to its neighbors, the United States, and its own people as long as the current regime remains in power. International sanctions have weakened the Iranian economy, but sanctions alone will not halt Iran’s nuclear weapons program or topple the regime. The Obama Administration should abandon any further attempts…

  • Commentary posted July 18, 2012 by Peter Brookes Iranians better get the message to chill

    While temperatures in the Persian Gulf hover mercilessly above 100 degrees this time of year, political and military tensions seem to be running a lot hotter. The shooting incident off the United Arab Emirates Monday involving a U.S. Navy ship and a civilian boat may be just one indication of how much warmer this summer might get in the Gulf. Unfortunately, little…

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  • Backgrounder posted May 9, 2016 by James Phillips The Dangerous Regional Implications of the Iran Nuclear Agreement

    Iran is consolidating its gains on multiple fronts under the July 2015 nuclear agreement reached with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of U.N. Security Council plus Germany). The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that addressed the nuclear issue has also bolstered Iran’s theocratic dictatorship in the economic, trade, political, diplomatic, military, and…

  • Issue Brief posted April 20, 2016 by James Phillips Obama Needs to Mend Fences at Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

    President Barack Obama will travel to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman on Wednesday and with leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Thursday. His trip is a follow-up to the May 2015 summit at Camp David that the President convened with leaders of the six GCC member states: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. President…

  • Issue Brief posted April 14, 2016 by William T. Wilson, Ph.D. Lifting of Sanctions on Iran Complicates Policy Options

    In a landmark agreement reached in January 2016, the International Atomic Energy Agency judged that Iran was compliant with its internationally agreed upon nuclear obligations. The nuclear deal that the Obama Administration helped to negotiate remains controversial and contested in the U.S. In fact, U.S. commitments under it could well be overturned by the next President.…

  • Issue Brief posted November 6, 2015 by James Phillips The Obama–Netanyahu Meeting: An Opportunity to Bolster Strategic Cooperation

    President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House on November 9 after a long period of tension between the two leaders over the controversial nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu, who warned that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to Israel, was highly critical of the risky agreement, which he lambasted for…

  • Issue Brief posted October 2, 2015 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Deal: What the Next President Should Do

    The failure of Congress to halt the implementation of the Obama Administration’s nuclear agreement with Tehran means that the U.S. is stuck with a bad deal on Iran’s nuclear program at least for now. Iran’s radical Islamist regime will now benefit from the suspension of international sanctions without dismantling its nuclear infrastructure, which will remain basically…

  • Backgrounder posted September 25, 2015 by James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., Luke Coffey, Matthew Rolfes, Daniel Kochis, Dean Cheng, Lisa Curtis, Bruce Klingner Meager Ground Forces, Extensive Global Challenges: A Primer for the U.S. President in 2017

    Whoever occupies the Oval Office in 2017 will face challenges around the world, including a resurgent Russia, an increasingly assertive China, a metastasized Islamic State (ISIS), and an emboldened Iran. Addressing these and other foreign policy challenges in the wake of the Obama Administration’s “leading from behind” approach will require a fundamental change of…

  • Market Research posted September 15, 2015 by Mark Schreiber, Elizabeth Fender A Less Secure America: Messaging on the Iran Nuclear Deal

    Messaging Priorities: Highlight the Dangers of the Deal Funds terrorism Gives the bomb to Iran Gives Iran a month to hide violations Transparency—79% believe Washington leaders are not telling the full truth about what is in the nuclear deal and overstating our ability to verify and enforce the agreement. Accountability—71% agree that the President should…

  • Factsheet on August 5, 2015 Top Five on the Iran Deal: Why the Iran Deal Won’t Prevent War

    Iran is the world’s #1 state sponsor of terrorism. Americans agree it should not have a nuclear weapon. President Obama’s Iran deal does not prevent Iran from doing so—and, in fact, the deal makes the prospects for war more likely. If approved, the Obama Administration’s controversial Iran deal would dismantle the sanctions that forced Tehran to the negotiating table.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 24, 2015 by James Phillips, Luke Coffey, Michaela Dodge The Iran Nuclear Agreement: Yes, There Is a Better Alternative

    The Obama Administration has argued that there is no better alternative to its controversial nuclear agreement with Iran. But rather than cutting off all paths to a nuclear weapon, as the Administration initially promised, the so-called Vienna Agreement only temporarily slows down Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapons capability and, in fact, protects the regime’s…

  • Issue Brief posted July 22, 2015 by David S. Addington Truth as the Victim of Kerry’s Promise to Iran

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made an unusual promise to the Islamic Republic of Iran: All senior Obama Administration officials will make every effort to support the Iran deal in their public statements. For any Obama Administration officials who have doubts about all or any part of the Iran deal, or about the likelihood that Iran will actually honor the deal,…

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Find more work on Iran