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Author Archive | Hillary Mann Leverett

WikiLeaks and Iran, Take 2: Former State Department Official Confirms Obama Was Never Serious about Engaging Iran

We were struck by a piece published by Reza Marashi — former State Department desk officer for Iran who now works as the National Iranian American Council’s research director.  For us, the most striking passage is the following: It should now be clear that U.S. policy has never been a true engagement policy.  By definition, […]

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Gates’ False Iran Premise: Sanctions Will Not Sow Internal Discord and Change Iran’s Nuclear Calculations

Since returning to government service to take up his current position, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has been a sober skeptic about the wisdom of military strikes against Iranian nuclear targets — under President Obama as well as under President George W. Bush, and regardless of whether such strikes would be carried out by the […]

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After the Midterm Elections: Hawks Up the Pressure for Military Action and Obama Sets Iran Up for More Sanctions

Tony Karon has another sharp piece this week, entitled “Israel Pressed for a Tougher U.S. Line on Iran.”  For some time now, we have been forecasting an intensification of pressure on the Obama Administration, by Israel and pro-Israel constituencies in the United States, for U.S. military strikes against Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. It appears that the […]

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U.S. Reverses Course and Designates Anti-Iranian Jundallah as a Foreign Terrorist Organization

In a notable turn-around, the U.S. Department of State today designated Jundallah as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO).  In early 2009, shortly after President Obama came into office, the United States considered designating Jundallah as an FTO, as a conciliatory message to the Islamic Republic of Iran.  In March 2009, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali […]

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The Iran That the Western Media Don’t Want You to See

When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled to Lebanon last week, attracting huge crowds and what seemed like an overwhelmingly positive public response, many Western analysts dismissed the trip as a kind of cheap political trick, meant to distract attention from Ahmadinejad’s allegedly unpopular standing at home.  But, after returning from Lebanon, Ahmadinejad made a trip […]

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Stuart Levey’s “Philosophy” of Iran Sanctions

On October 6, Charlie Rose broadcast an interview with Stuart Levey, Undersecretary of the Treasury for Financial and Terrorism Intelligence (can be viewed here: www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11231).  Levey is widely considered the principal architect of U.S. sanctions policy, particularly with respect to Iran, under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.  It is worth recalling […]

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Mr. Ahmadinejad Comes to New York

As he has every year since becoming President of the Islamic Republic, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is coming to New York this week to attend the United Nations General Assembly.  Several important U.S. media outlets have either already conducted (MSNBC, ABC) or will conduct (PBS’ Charlie Rose and CNN’s Larry King) interviews with Ahmadinejad in connection with […]

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China, Iran, and Neocon Push for Secondary Sanctions

The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington, DC-based neoconservative “think tank” that has consistently promoted hard-line policies against the Islamic Republic, came out with what it describes as “a comprehensive report . . . identifying 10 major Chinese energy companies that continue to do business with Iran in spite of international sanctions.”  According […]

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