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On Tuesday, July 13, the Islamic Republic of Iran brazenly attempted to kidnap Iranian- American journalist Masih Alinejad from her home in Brooklyn and bolt back to Tehran via speedboats. An indictment unsealed from a federal court in New York indicates this plot was orchestrated directly by an Iranian intelligence network.
This is on top of a long list of Iran’s recent malfeasance, including drone attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq, killing a U.S. contractor, the precariously close trailing of Iranian vessels near U.S. Coast Guard ships in international waters and the debasing way that the American delegation has been treated in their attempt to revive the nuclear talks in Vienna.
We have also seen that International Atomic Energy Administration (IAEA) officials are being denied access to nuclear sites in Iran, and that Iran has continued to be behind most of the terrorist groups sowing havoc in the Middle East.
A horrific hardliner, Ebrahim Raisi, known as “The Butcher of Tehran” has been selected, rather than elected, to be the Islamic Republic’s next President.
Yet, United States is planning on lifting all sanctions on Iran, throwing caution to the wind, and proceeding with the nuclear talks to revive the fundamentally flawed JCPOA, the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
What is behind this single-minded determination? Who are the people in the Biden administration behind this idea? Do they not realize that Iran has been behind some of the most destabilizing events in the Middle East in the last several years? In order to answer these questions and more, we are delighted to have Behnam Ben Taleblu with us once again.
About the speaker:
Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at 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.