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In-depth Reports

By Jon Rogers

IRAN has said it will not seek anyone’s “permission” to build up its missile capabilities in a defiant message to US President Donald Trump as global tensions over a possible war continue to rise.President Hassan Rouhani said during an event showcasing military hardware broadcast on state-run television:"The strengthening of the capability of the Iranian armed forces… is only for defending the country and we will ask no one's permission to build up the armed forces, and to build missiles and aircraft."

 by Joel Gehrke

President Trump should cancel airplane sales to Iranian airlines that facilitate terrorism, a pair of Republican lawmakers urged Monday.

 "Iran's commercial airlines have American blood on their hands," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., wrote in a letter to Trump.

 A government decision to block the aircraft sales would provoke an uproar at home and abroad. It would cost Boeing, which has inked a pair of deals to sell 110 to Iran-based airlines, about $20 billion.

It could deter American and European businesses from investing in Iran, which the regime's leaders have argued amounts to violation of the nuclear agreement that former President Barack Obama's team negotiated.

New York Times - March 31, 2017 - LONDON — In recent weeks, Total, the French energy giant, has been sending small amounts of euros from banks in Europe to Tehran.

It was the corporate equivalent of setting up a direct deposit. Total wanted to test the banking system and learn how difficult it was to make day-to-day transactions in Iran.

As it considers investing in Iran, the company is moving cautiously. It has assigned a full-time compliance officer to the country to ensure it doesn’t run afoul of any rules:

By INU Staff

Since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979, Iran has been holding presidential elections every four years. Western media often portray elections in Iran as a struggle between political parties as is the norm in their own countries.

However, there are key differences between elections in Iran and western democracies. A deeper look at the process and dynamics involved in selecting the country's president suggest why there's a strong belief any form of elections in Iran are a sham and the power to rule the country lies elsewhere.

By Heshmat Alavi

While an agreement allowing Iranian pilgrims to join this year’s hajj is good news, this is no leap forward to future success for the regime in Tehran. Quite obvious is the fact that this regime is facing a new balance of power in the Middle East and across the globe as the Trump administration has begun overhauling his predecessor’s disastrous Iran appeasement policy that allowed Tehran ignite the entire region in flames.

Turning point

The visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US and meeting with President Donald Trump in the White House has been described as a turning point in Saudi-US relations.

By Tony Badran, Saeed Ghasseminejad
Cipher Brief - 19th March 2017 - The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s powerful, ideological military force, is one of the country’s most influential institutions, with major stakes in key sectors of the economy and supervision of Tehran’s vast network of militias and terrorist proxies in conflicts throughout the Middle East. In its eagerness to secure the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, however, the Obama Administration turned a blind eye to IRGC involvement in the Syrian civil war, and as the Trump Administration now ponders its options, the IRGC is looking to turn its investment in Syria into profits.

By Heshmat Alavi

Iran made a lot of noise recently in announcing a new main battle tank built inside the country. Named Karrar, the tank is more a replica of an old Russian design and even more previous Western tank characteristics incorporated into various parts of nothing but a fancy-styled vessel most probably mocking something from a recent movie.

Despite all the brouhaha, Karrar is actually far behind anything considered modern and regardless of Tehran’s claims, entering production lines remains farfetched. Experts are even accusing Iran of using this entire scenario as a hoax aimed at gaining Russia’s consent into a tank purchase deal at a lower price.

With a growing dependence on China and Russia and budding geopolitical ambitions, Tehran is willing to make sacrifices

By David P. Goldman

Estimates of Iran’s military expenditure in Syria vary from US$6 billion a year to US$15-US$20 billion a year. That includes US$4 billion of direct costs as well as subsidies for Hezbollah and other Iranian-controlled irregulars.

Assuming that lower estimates are closer to the truth, the cost of the Syrian war to the Tehran regime is roughly in the same range as the country’s total budget deficit, now running at a US$9.3 billion annual rate.

By Michael Rubin

American Enterprise Institute - March 7, 2017 -  Iran’s approach to soft power is sophisticated and varied. While the Islamic Republic’s religious rhetoric might dominate the Western understanding of Iran, successive governments—both before and after the 1979 Islamic Revolution—have sought to capitalize on Iran’s culture, religion, and historical legacy to extend influence and achieve aims far beyond its borders. To understand Iranian soft power therefore requires recognition of Persia’s imperial past, its religious evolution, Persian language and culture, and its history.

Alarabiya by Tony Duheaume

When it comes to fighting terrorism, building walls and executing travel bans do nothing to deter hardened terrorists from pursuing their violent agendas, as it matters not what is put in their way, they will find their cannon fodder amongst the vulnerable, dispossessed and downtrodden on the streets of any inner city, including those of the US.

The ones who suffer the most from such draconian restrictions of movement, are the hundreds of thousands of innocent migrant Muslims left to suffer in abysmal conditions, after escaping from the terrible surroundings of wars, and end up being stigmatized as a “public enemy”.