Ilan Berman
Ilan Berman
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A New Approach To Iran

January 17, 2018  •  U.S. News & World Report

The recent protests in Iran may be petering out, but the White House is ramping up its response to them. Last week, in tandem with his most recent decision to prolong the controversial 2015 Iran nuclear deal for another three months, President Trump opened a new front against the Islamic Republic by levying fresh human rights sanctions on a number of key regime figures and institutions. The targets included Sadegh Amoli Larijani, the powerful head of Iran's Judiciary, who was blacklisted for "for ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against persons in Iran or Iranian citizens or residents." Sanctioned, too, were institutions like Iran's "Supreme Council of Cyberspace" and the cyberwarfare arm of Iran's clerical army, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, both of which were complicit in limiting access to the internet during Iran's unrest. The designations are noteworthy for at least three reasons.

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What To Watch For In Iran's Turmoil

January 8, 2018  •  The Hill

Will Iran's pro-democracy protests last? As the uprisings that have unexpectedly swept across the Islamic Republic approach their second full week, that's the question on the mind of policymakers in Washington. In contrast to its counterparts in Europe, the Trump administration has forcefully backed Iran's protesters and their political aspirations, and U.S. officials are now contemplating their next steps in support of Iran's opposition. As they do, they should keep their eyes on three key factors that will help determine the success or failure of today's ferment.

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How Washington Can Influence The Outcome Of Protests In Iran

January 4, 2018  •  The National Interest

These are heady days in Iran. For more than a week now, thousands of Iranians have rallied publicly against their government, demanding accountability, transparency and an end to the repressive clerical status quo. In the process, they have presented Iran's radical theocratic regime with one of the most profound challenges to its authority since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. On the surface, the protests are reminiscent of the groundswell of popular discontent that erupted in the summer of 2009, following the fraudulent reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the Iranian presidency. However, there are clear signs that today's rallies are more broad-based than the unrest of 2009 ever was. There is also compelling evidence that they are being propelled by different factors, like widespread discontent over poor domestic economic conditions and the opportunity costs of the regime's expanding regional adventurism. These features, in turn, could make today's protests more persistent and resilient than their predecessors. In this ferment, Washington has an important role to play. Obama-era officials have been quick to counsel silence from the new administration, lest American involvement be seen as interference. But these recommendations miss a crucial point: the United States is no disinterested bystander. The United States has both a moral and strategic interest in Iranian freedom, and in seeing the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism transform into a more constructive regional actor.

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How To Support The Second "Persian Spring"

January 2, 2018  •  USA Today

Could we see a new Iranian revolution in 2018? For nearly a week now, tens of thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in various cities throughout the Islamic Republic in the largest mass demonstrations of their kind in nearly a decade. In the process, they have raised the tantalizing possibility that we might in fact be witnessing a second "Persian Spring."

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What Trump's New Strategy Means For The Middle East

December 21, 2017  •  Al-Hurra Digital

Earlier this week, in a major address in Washington, DC, President Donald Trump formally unveiled his administration-s new national security strategy. That document - the first of its kind since 2015 - lays out a compelling and fundamentally different vision of American security from the one that dominated during the Obama era.

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Books by Ilan Berman

Cover of Iran's Deadly Ambition Cover of Implosion Cover of Winning the Long War Cover of Tehran Rising

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