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Iran has been at war with Israel and the U.S. for decades but October 7th began a multifront escalation that appears to be a turning point in its willingness to fund, train, and weaponize regional terrorism at an alarming rate and level. Iranian-backed terrorists across the region – Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and Judea and Samaria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen, and Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria – present national security challenges not just for Israel but also the U.S. Why is Iran suddenly feeling emboldened enough to continually attack U.S. assets in Iraq and Syria, how close is it to obtaining weapons-grade uranium and ultimately a nuclear weapon, what can be done about the Houthis aggression in the Red Sea, and will a new war break out on Israel’s northern border with Hezbollah? These are just some of the issues that we’ll be discussing with Iran-expert, Behnam Ben Taleblu, and we hope that you can join us for this in-depth and informative conversation.
About the Speaker: Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) where he focuses on Iranian security and political issues. Behnam previously served as a research fellow and senior Iran analyst at FDD. Prior to his time at FDD, Behnam worked on non-proliferation issues at an arms control think tank in Washington. Leveraging his subject-matter expertise and native Farsi skills, Behnam has closely tracked a wide range of Iran-related topics including nuclear non-proliferation, ballistic missiles, sanctions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the foreign and security policy of the Islamic Republic, and internal Iranian politics. Frequently called upon to brief journalists, congressional staff, and other Washington audiences, Behnam has also testified before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament.
His analyses have been quoted in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Fox News, The Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse, among others. Additionally, he has contributed to or co-authored articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fox News, The Hill, War on the Rocks, The National Interest, and U.S. News & World Report. Behnam has appeared on a variety of broadcast programs, including BBC News, Fox News, CBS Interactive, C-SPAN, and Defense News. Behnam earned his MA in International Relations from The University of Chicago, and his BA in International Affairs and Middle East Studies from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.