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Our Research & Offerings on Iran
  • Backgrounder posted September 15, 2016 by Michaela Dodge President Obama’s Missile Defense Policy: A Misguided Legacy

    As a candidate, Barack Obama called ballistic missile defense programs “unproven” and vowed to cut them.[1] As President, Barack Obama eventually had to appreciate the value that missile defense brings to the U.S. strategic posture and allied relationships. The Obama Administration initially cancelled some of the most important missile defense programs that were started…

  • Issue Brief posted September 13, 2016 by Luke Coffey Caspian Sea Ownership: Not an Issue the U.S. Should Ignore

    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union there has been a debate over the legal status of the Caspian Sea: Is it a sea, or is it a lake? And to whom does it belong? The outcome of this debate will have a major impact on the way energy resources are extracted and transported, and by whom—which could have a major impact on U.S. economic and security interests in the region.…

  • Posted on September 8, 2016 by James Phillips The Disturbing Steady Drip of Revelations About Obama’s Iran Cash Deal

    Allegations that President Barack Obama’s administration doled out ransom payments to Iran in exchange for prisoners...…

  • Posted on August 19, 2016 by James Phillips Obama’s Cash Deal Encourages Iran to Take More Hostages

    The trickle of disturbing leaks about the Obama administration’s flawed and risky Iran policy continues to grow.  The...…

  • Posted on July 20, 2016 by James Phillips The Iran Nuclear Deal Continues to Unravel

    The steady drip of disturbing revelations about President Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement continues unabated. On...…

  • Posted on July 13, 2016 by James Phillips Obama’s Legacy Is Likely to Be Nuclear-Armed Iran

    One year after the negotiation of the nuclear agreement, Iran continues to pursue the hostile policies that make it...…

  • 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…

  • 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,...…

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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.…

  • 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 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…

  • 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…

  • Commentary posted December 6, 2013 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. President Obama flunks 'Make a Deal 101'

    In "Let's Make a Deal", audience members trade one prize for a chance at winning a better one, but take the risk of getting only a worthless Zonk. The pressure is on to take the gamble. This makes a great game show, but in reality it's a terrible way to negotiate. Good agreements aren't driven by a desperate need to deal. As the Obama administration has illustrated…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2015 by Peter Brookes Iran’s meddling makes Yemen regional flashpoint

    While the United States moved out of Yemen last week, this week a Saudi Arabia-led coalition of a reported 10 mostly Arab states moved into Yemen with airstrikes aimed at the continuing chaos there. The immediate — but not the only — target of the coalition air campaign is the Houthi rebels who recently swept out of northern Yemen, captured the capital, Sanaa, and are…

  • Commentary posted April 24, 2015 by Peter Brookes Tehran’s on tear in Middle East

    So much for those who were hoping that the recently concluded — but clearly unfinished — nuclear deal with Iran would serve as the basis for a replay of President Nixon’s historic opening to China. As the next phase of nuclear talks begins this week in Vienna, Tehran is on a tear. This time it’s in Yemen where news accounts report that a convoy of Iranian cargo ships…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2009 by James Phillips What Iran Learned From the Hostage Crisis: Terrorism Works

    Today is the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the Iranian hostage crisis, America's first searing experience with Islamist terrorism. On Nov. 4, 1979, Iranian militants seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and took American diplomats as hostages. Fifty-two Americans were held captive for 444 days in a prolonged crisis that boosted the power of Iranian hardliners,…

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  • Backgrounder posted September 15, 2016 by Michaela Dodge President Obama’s Missile Defense Policy: A Misguided Legacy

    As a candidate, Barack Obama called ballistic missile defense programs “unproven” and vowed to cut them.[1] As President, Barack Obama eventually had to appreciate the value that missile defense brings to the U.S. strategic posture and allied relationships. The Obama Administration initially cancelled some of the most important missile defense programs that were started…

  • Issue Brief posted September 13, 2016 by Luke Coffey Caspian Sea Ownership: Not an Issue the U.S. Should Ignore

    Since the collapse of the Soviet Union there has been a debate over the legal status of the Caspian Sea: Is it a sea, or is it a lake? And to whom does it belong? The outcome of this debate will have a major impact on the way energy resources are extracted and transported, and by whom—which could have a major impact on U.S. economic and security interests in the region.…

  • 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 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…

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Find more work on Iran