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Opinion

N.Y.Times -  WASHINGTON — When President Trump sent greetings to the Iranian people on Wednesday for the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, it offered a glimpse into an administration that is still debating how to deal with a country that Mr. Trump has painted as an implacable foe.

The five-paragraph statement went through multiple drafts, according to two people involved in the process. Hard-liners in the White House first tried to kill the message, and when that failed, stripped it of references to engaging with the Iranian government or a future in which Iran and the United States might peacefully coexist.

By the Center for a New American Security 

Iran policy has been one of the most divisive foreign policy issues in recent years. The Obama administration’s nuclear deal passed Congress without a single Republican vote, and Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to get tougher on Tehran. And with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee annual conference in Washington next week, we may see this issue once again near the top of the agenda as Congress is expected to introduce a slew of new initiatives.

For all the divisions, today it is on Iran policy that Congress can lead, joining forces across parties and even with the new administration.

By Frederic C. Hof 

Six years ago, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad betrayed his country by authorizing lethal fire on peaceful protesters. As war in Syria enters its seventh year, the price for the political preservation of one man, one family, and one entourage has been staggering, in Syria and far beyond. Observers numbed by the enormity of a humanitarian catastrophe are periodically jolted by new revelations, such as the regime bombing spree that deprived 5.5 million people in Damascus of running water: a likely war crime, per the United Nations Commission of Inquiry. Just how relevant is this murderous crew to the future of Syria?

By John Lee

IJR - march 21, 2017 - Much has been discussed about “fake news” appearing everywhere, from newspapers to blogs to social media to even Wikipedia listings that have been altered.

The wave of fake news stems largely from the ability in today’s hyper-connected, social media world to distribute information as fast as fingers can swipe a touchscreen. It also means it has become harder for ordinary people to discern what is legitimate and accurate news versus what is hyperbole or hysteria.

By John Hannah and Saeed Ghasseminejad

Foreign Policy - March 21, 2017- In two months’ time — on May 19, to be exact — Iran will hold presidential elections. As things currently stand, odds are that the incumbent, Hassan Rouhani, will win a second term. Though attacked by internal critics on both the right and left, no serious contender has yet stepped forward to challenge his re-election. For U.S. policymakers, two questions naturally arise: Do we have a stake in Rouhani’s success and should U.S. policy be tailored to boost his chances — or, at the very least, avoid hurting them?

By Amir Basiri

Perhaps the most challenging foreign policy dilemma facing the Trump administration is none other than Iran. Issues include Iran’s nuclear program, a regional policy focused on increasing its hegemonic reach, a network backing a conglomerate of militia groups rampaging the entire region, a dangerous missile program, and continuing human rights violations. The question before Washington is how to tackle these issues without launching yet another unnecessary war or adopting an appeasement-based policy.

Stop Fundamentalism in Iran - 15 March 2017 - Sahar Nowrouzzadeh was the Iran director for the National Security Council (NSC) during Obama’s administration. She is now working at the State Department where she is in charge of Iran and the Persian Gulf region for policy planning. Nowrouzzadeh once worked for a supposed Iranian regime lobbying group and was once employed by the National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) – the non-profit organisation that lobbies for the Iranian regime.

 By Dr. Majid Rafizadeh

Many wonder why so-called Western “leftists” and “liberals,” as well as mainstream liberal media outlets, shower praise on Tehran, particularly given its condemnation of the West, its state sponsorship of terrorism, its poor human rights record and its meddling in other countries in the region.

The answer is linked to preserving one’s economic and career interests, as well as to Western education systems, particularly at highly regarded universities. I will focus on the second dimension since the first is self-explanatory.

By Amir Basiri

Reports indicate remnants of President Obama's Iran policy team in the State Department, known for its penchant for appeasement toward Tehran, have maintained a presence, albeit residual, in President Trump's administration.

This issue is of special concern as these individuals have a history of close ties to the regime in Tehran and a notorious Iranian lobbying group in the United States.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who formerly served as the Iran director of the National Security Council during Obama's tenure, has managed to find herself a position in the administrative team working under Trump.

By Patrick Goodenough

(CNSNews.com) – Former Sen. Joe Lieberman supported Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, but on Wednesday, he called the shift from President Obama to President Trump “enormously significant and hopeful” when it comes to Iran.

“Though I will say that I was a proud supporter of Secretary Clinton in the election last year, when it comes to the question of Iran, the change from President Obama to President Trump is an enormously significant and hopeful change,” he told a Nowruz (Persian new year) gathering on Capitol Hill.