• 2020-02-12

    Sanctions loopholes must be closed. Fortunately, it is possible to address these in a manner that would pressure the Iranian regime without harming the Iranian people, the majority of whom chafe under the clerical regime. [...] U.S. concern about the Islamic Republic’s nuclear ambitions and its ballistic missile work may be the stuff of headlines, but Iran’s industry is broader, and the applications from other high-technology sectors can also augment Iran’s programs. It would be a mistake to ignore niche Iranian industries today, because they form the basis of asymmetric capabilities which the Iranian leadership will not hesitate to deploy or export tomorrow. It is time to undermine the building blocks of Iran’s next-generation military-industrial ambition.

  • 2020-02-10

    More than 100 American service members have traumatic brain injuries from Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base in Iraq in January, the Defense Department said, a number that was more than 50 percent higher than previously disclosed. Of the 109 troops who have been diagnosed with brain injuries, 76 had returned to duty, officials said Monday.

  • 2020-02-05

    The Syrian army’s ongoing military operation in the northwestern province of Idlib has resulted in a number of strategic gains for President Bashar al-Assad’s government. On Jan. 28, the Syrian army recaptured Maaret al-Numan, a strategic town south of the city of Idlib, from rebel and terrorist groups. The achievement was seen as an important step to regain full control over the M5 highway that connects Damascus with Aleppo. As has been the case with the previous rounds of the Syrian army’s operations in Idlib, the recent advances were made possible by Russian air support for the Syrian forces. However, what has been new this time is the active presence of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces on the battlefield that has been reported. 

  • 2020-02-05

    The Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan hired Washington law firm the Cogent Law Group in December to “promote and develop cooperative relations with the US government,” according to newly disclosed lobbying filings. The firm was paid $40,000 up front to organize a “single high-level meeting with a senior official of the executive branch of the United States Government” and a “single media interview in the United States.” 

  • 2020-02-04

    In The CIA Insider's Guide to Iran: from CIA Coup to the Brink of War, former CIA Officer John C. Kiriakou and investigative journalist and historian Gareth Porter explain how and why the United States and Iran have been either at war or threatening such a war for most of the forty years since Islamic Republic of Iran was established. The authors delve below the surface explanations for the forty-year history of extreme U.S. hostility toward Iran to blow up one official U.S. narrative after another about Iran and U.S. policy.

  • 2020-02-02

    The administration’s Iran strategy has six elements: First, Trump withdrew from the nuclear agreement because it did not constrain Iran’s ballistic-missile programs and had a termination date. Second, the United States imposed “maximum pressure” sanctions, strangling Iran’s economy to drive the government into negotiating a deal with greater restrictions on Iranian nuclear-weapons programs and other malign behavior. Third, the administration wants to prevent Europe from acquiescing in Iranian resumption of activities that had been constrained by the nuclear agreement. Fourth, the United States killed Soleimani, the powerful commander who had been responsible for attacks on Americans, and the architect of Iran’s policies to destabilize Middle Eastern governments. Fifth, Trump and his team now seek to manage any potential escalation in the aftermath of the Soleimani attack. Finally, they hope to amplify protests within Iran to further delegitimize the Iranian regime.

  • 2020-01-28

    In the early hours of 8 January, Iran targeted two Iraqi military bases hosting US forces, one in western Iraq and the other in the north, with ballistic missiles that left no casualties. Less than 24 hours later, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker flew to Erbil, without going through Baghdad, to meet key US ally and former president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Masoud Barzani, in addition to a number of other Kurdish officials. Although statements later issued by the US did not mention any meetings that took place with Sunni leaders in Erbil, many sources confirmed that both the assistant secretary of state and Stephen Fagin, the US consul in Erbil, met a number of Sunni politicians “to discuss the implications of the parliament’s decision, the threats that Sunnis face and options for facing the two issues”. On the same day, Schenker flew to the UAE. There, he later said, he met "by chance" with the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi, “who happened to be there”.

  • 2020-01-28

    Several sources in the past several days have analyzed the Iranian missile strikes on US forces at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase which took place more than two weeks ago on the 8th of January 2020 as a retaliation for the US assassination of the Iranian general Qassem Sulaimani. The reports have focused on several topics and methods ranging from satellite image interpretation, videos of missile launches and incoming missile strikes to analysis of on-site photos of (unexploded) Iranian missiles in and around the targeted airbases in Iraq. In this analysis we will look closer at the satellite imagery to give us more insight on what happened at the Ayn Al Asad Airbase and to help us answer some questions like what kind of missiles did the Iranians use, what kind of targets did the Iranians aim for (or destroy) and what kind of information can we derive in terms of accuracy of the Iranian missiles.

  • 2020-01-28

    President Donald J. Trump’s Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future for Israel and the Palestinian People: Peace to Prosperity. A Vision to Improve the Lives of the Palestinian and Israeli People

  • 2020-01-28

    Hezbollah and Iran have “put down roots” in South America in America’s backyard, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week in an interview with a Bloomberg reporter. Unlike the interview Pompeo gave Friday with NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, where he cursed at her and accused her of lying, Pompeo’s statements hyping Iran’s national security threat south of the border received almost no notice from a press glued to impeachment proceedings. Why is Pompeo suddenly directing increasingly heated rhetoric towards Iran and its proxies in South America