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Article

How Trump's Foreign Policy Team Is Mastering Complex Challenges in Difficult Times

Author: Ray Takeyh
Washington Examiner

Thus far, President Donald J. Trump’s foreign policy resembles a traditionally realist Republican one that focuses on balance-of-power politics, dealing with other great powers on equal footing, and building coalitions for specific tasks, writes Ray Takeyh. In time, he may also recognize the importance of a robust human rights and democracy promotion policy.

See more in United States; Presidents and Chiefs of State; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

How Trump Can Help Cripple the Iranian Regime

Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

The United States can cripple the Iranian regime if it doesn’t compromise the battle on the ground for fear of compromising arms control, argue Reuel Gerecht and CFR’s Ray Takeyh. America should fight Iran’s proxy militias in the regions, support popular movements against the Islamic Republic, and make human rights a priority for its Iran policy.

See more in Iran; Human Rights; Politics and Strategy

Article

Labeling Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Authors: Mark Dubowitz and Ray Takeyh
Foreign Affairs

The Donald J. Trump administration would be correct to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Mark Dubowitz. Terrorism has been a defining feature of the IRGC since its inception in 1979, and the power of the IRGC needs to be curbed before the Islamic Republic can be tamed.

See more in Iran; Terrorism

Op-Ed

Iran’s Rafsanjani: A Legacy of Terrorism and Repression Behind a Facade of Moderation

Authors: Reuel Gerecht and Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

Contrary to his image as a “pragmatist,” former Iranian President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who died last week, brandished a moderate image that concealed the reality of his militancy, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh with Reuel Gerecht. Instead, Rafsanjani was the most consequential architect of the theocracy’s machinery of repression and regional ambitions and a primary sponsor of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear aspirations. 

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Article

How Trump Can Avoid His Predecessors’ Iran Mistakes

Author: Ray Takeyh
Politico

There are important lessons for the incoming Trump administration on Iran they can learn from their predecessors, argues CFR’s Ray Takeyh. They should recognize that the Islamic Republic is a unitary nation-state purged of reformers, that it is susceptible to a threat of force, and that Iran is not interested in normalizing relations with the United States.

See more in Iran; Conflict Assessment

Op-Ed

Iran’s Likely Next Supreme Leader Is No Friend of the West

Author: Ray Takeyh
Washington Post

The man most likely to succeed Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as Iran's supreme leader, Ibrahim Raisi, is neither pragmatic nor friendly to the West, writes CFR's Ray Takeyh. Raisi, who heads one of the Islamic Republic's largest charitable foundations, embodies the repressive and revolutionary values of the regime and would continue Iran's transformation into a police state.

See more in Iran; Presidents and Chiefs of State

Article

The Problem With Vows to 'Defeat' the Islamic State

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle and Jacob Shapiro
The Atlantic

In recent weeks, ISIS has suffered territorial losses on multiple fronts, including in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. The organization may look nearer to defeat than at any time in the past two years, but there is still a great deal of fighting to be done before the group is destroyed, or more likely beaten back to an underground terrorist organization as it was in 2009.

See more in Iraq; Syria; Counterterrorism

Article

Future Warfare in the Western Pacific

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle and Ivan Oelrich
International Security

Adjunct Senior Fellow Stephen Biddle and his co-author, Ivan Oelrich, argue in the latest issue of the journal International Security that Chinese antiaccess/area denial is a real, but limited long term threat. It can allow China to gain control of its own airspace, it can deny the U.S. wartime freedom of movement across much of the South and East China Seas, and U.S. counter-efforts are unlikely to prevent this in the 2040 time frame on which we focus.

See more in Asia and Pacific; Wars and Warfare

Foreign Affairs Article

Can't Have It Both Ways in Iran

Authors: Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh

As the U.S. campaign season wears on, both Republicans and Democrats are pledging to stay tough on Iran. Such promises aren’t new. Last summer, as the Barack Obama administration unveiled its nuclear agreement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry assured skeptics that the United States would sustain essential sanctions that punish Tehran for its aid to terrorists, regional aggression, and human rights abuses.

See more in Iran; United States; Treaties and Agreements; Public Health Threats and Pandemics