Thursday, September 5, 2019

Iran Sanctions Think Tank FDD and US Think Tankers Fight Back

In a rare move, Iran has sanctioned a little-known US think tank that has played an outsized role in imposing US sanctions on Iran.  Here is more:

Iran has blacklisted the US-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies and its chief Mark Dubowitz on accusations of being behind “economic terrorism” against the Islamic Republic.
The Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement issued late Saturday that it had “added the so-called Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) and its director to the sanctions list.”
“The American institution with the deceitful name” and Dubowitz were accused of being involved in “designing, imposing and intensifying the impacts of economic terrorism against Iran,” it said, without detailing the specific alleged actions.

Here is a statement on the sanctions from Iran's Tasnim News Agency.

In response, 70 think tank scholars have come out in support of FDD.  All the signatories can be found here.

How did a small think tank get so famous in Iran?

Here is a previous Think Tank Watch post on how FDD sank the Iran nuclear deal.

Here is WaPo's Jason Rezaian in a piece entitled "Death to think tanks?  The latest in Iran's pointless campaign."

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, have close ties to FDD.

In related news, Negar Razavi writes that there is a systematic problem of Iran expertise in Washington think tanks.