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This Think Tank is Pushing Regime Change in Iran—and the White House is Listening

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies helped kill the nuke deal, but it’s not satisfied—it wants harsh new sanctions against any country doing business with Iran.

The Trump administration is threatening America’s European allies with harsh sanctions—among them, exclusion from a principal component of the global financial system—should they decide to keep doing business with Iran.

In early June, Sigal Mandelker, a previously obscure Justice Department and Homeland Security official now serving as acting deputy secretary of the Treasury Department, spoke before an audience at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a Washington think tank, and fired a shot across the proverbial bow of European governments and businesses, warning, “Companies doing business in Iran face substantial risks, and those risks are even greater as we reimpose nuclear-related sanctions.”

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“We will hold,” said Mandelker, “those doing prohibited business in Iran to account.”

The venue at which Mandelker spoke was only too appropriate. Described by the journalist Mark Perry as “perhaps the most powerful outside influencer of the Trump White House today,” FDD is credited, even by its opponents, as being among Washington’s most effective proponents of neoconservative ideas. In the estimation of Trita Parsi, the author of Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy, “FDD certainly punches above its weight.”

Over the past several years, FDD had helped lead the opposition to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement, and is currently spearheading a push to wage economic warfare not only against Iran, but also against European countries too should they decide to part from the Trump administration’s policy on Iran.       Continue Reading