SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

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Press Release -- International Affairs Professor: U.S. Must Keep an Eye on Iran

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SHEEHAN: Iran is the Real Middle East Threat | The Hill | Commentary

While presenting at the World Congress of Middle East Studies in Turkey on August 19, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan published an article in the congressional newspaper The Hill on Iraq, Iran, ISIS and the growing unrest on the Iraqi street. In the article, he questioned whether White House officials have a plan to counter the larger threat posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“…U.S. policy on Iran must ensure significant consequence for continued Iranian interference in Iraq. The failure to act against Assad by enforcing the red line in Syria or push back on Putin’s adventures in Ukraine diminished U.S. credibility and squandered valuable influence. But Congress can correct these missteps by insisting that the White House lean in on Iran by giving the ayatollahs a new problem to keep them busy.

Since Tehran fears internal threats more than external ones, U.S. legislators should embrace a policy of regime change from within via Iran’s organized opposition.

Obama’s declaration that there is no military solution to Iraq’s troubles and that a legitimate Iraqi government must be established is an accurate diagnosis insofar as it goes. But the intoxication resulting from a combination of U.S. impotence, Iranian interference, and Iraqi frustration will only lead to continued regional instability.

Solving the Iraq puzzle requires that U.S. officials double down on the real threat in the Middle East and increase the prospect of collapse in Tehran.” #PDF

You can learn more about Dr. Sheehan’s recent media appearances in a University of Baltimore press release.

Please also stay tuned for forthcoming publications in fall 2014 on topics related to regime change in Iran and suicide terrorism.

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Sheehan Interviewed on Bloomberg Television

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WATCH @Islamic State vs. Iran: Which Threat Is Bigger? / Bloomberg TV / August 13, 2014

University of Baltimore Professor Ivan Sascha Sheehan and the Heritage Foundation’s Steven Bucci discuss the threat posed by Islamic State in Iraq and Iran’s influence in the country live on Bloomberg Television on August 13, 2014.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s departure is a very positive development for Iraq and represents an opportunity for the creation of a more inclusive, truly representative government in Baghdad.

–Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan

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Sheehan Interviewed on Iranian Nuclear Crisis

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Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan was recently interviewed by the University of Baltimore Magazine on the Iranian nuclear situation and a monograph authored with Ambassador Lincoln P. Bloomfield, Jr. titled The Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) – Shackled by a Twisted History. Several thousand copies of the monograph were provided to members of Congress, White House officials, and the Intelligence Community.

You can read Dr. Sheehan’s Foreword here.

The monograph received endorsements from senior former US officials, including:

  • General George W. Casey, Jr.
  • Lieutenant General Dell L. Dailey
  • General James L. Jones
  • Judge Michael B. Mukasey
  • Dr. Mitchell B. Reiss
  • Governor Bill Richardson

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Sheehan Presenting at 2014 World Congress of Middle Eastern Studies

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2014 World Congress of Middle East Studies / Strategies for Change in the Middle East: Clarifying the Contested Concept of Regime Change from Within / Panel on Democracy and Reform in Iran from a Historical Perspective / August 18-22, 2014 / Middle East Technical University (METU)

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has been invited to Ankara, Turkey to present at the 2014 World Congress of Middle East Studies (WOCMES) between August 18-22, 2014. The symposium will be held at Middle East Technical University (METU), one of Turkey’s leading universities. Dr. Sheehan is scheduled to present a paper titled Strategies for Change in the Middle East: Clarifying the Contested Concept of Regime Change from Within.

Presentation Abstract: The term “regime change from within” has become increasingly popular in opposition and policy discourse, especially in relation to the Islamic Republic of Iran. It has also begun entering the academic literature. But what does it mean? Despite its increasing use “regime change from within” is rarely defined and scant scholarly attention to date has been paid to defining it. This is problematic since, as an “umbrella concept,” the term can be stretched to include a wide variety of discrepant processes. In fact, “regime change from within” has been used as a holder for democracy promotion efforts within a country that start both inside and outside a country, as well as indigenous efforts that exclude outside support, to highlight the need for radical change, and more vaguely to call for “continuous” change or reform. This paper argues that coherent strategic policy demands better articulation of the meaning of the term. As a first step, the paper traces the evolution of use of the term “regime change from within,” tries to unpack its components, and develops a preliminary framework that partitions the concept into ends (vision) and means (strategy) to assess its utility for policy.

Stay tuned for two forthcoming articles by Dr. Sheehan:

SHEEHAN: What is “Regime Change from Within?” Unpacking the Concept in the Context of Iran | Digest of Middle East Studies | Fall 2014

SHEEHAN: Balancing Ends, Ways, and Means: The Case for Reviving Support for “Regime Change from Within” in Iran | Under Review

More on Dr. Sheehan’s research can be found at the below links.

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Sheehan Published in New Book on Middle East

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New Directions in the Middle East / Edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman / Westphalia Press / ISBN/EAN13: 194147201X; 9781941472019 / 16 Jun 2014

Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is published in a new book titled New Directions in the Middle East. The book presents articles based on papers delivered at the annual Middle East Dialogue held in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Digest of Middle East Studies (DOMES) and the Policy Studies Organization (PSO), and at the Conference of the Association for Middle Eastern Public Policy and Administration (AMEPPA) held in Ifrane, Morocco. The authors suggest much needed and even radical reforms amidst a series of conflicts that include the standoff between Israel and its Arab neighbors, the role and impact of social media as empowered by technology, and citizens’ demands for political, economic, and social change. Those interested in crisis management and conflict resolution will find this a must read. The contributors represent an unusually wide variety of political and religious views and include a number who enjoy considerable standing in the Middle East.

“This exceptional work, composed of two volumes, ‘Middle East: Conflicts & Reforms’ and ‘New Directions in the Middle East’ is a magnum opus. In this book, edited by Mohammed M. Aman and Mary Jo Aman, the reader is introduced to a comprehensive and integrated erudite work addressed by a number of distinguished scholars from different disciplines dealing with the Middle East and North Africa, a most sensitive region of the world. The book identifies significant academic and public policy approaches as well as socio-economic, cultural, and political paradigms that bind together such timely topics as democracy, Islam, Islamism, sectarianism, secularism, globalism, modernity, Arab Spring, social justice, social media, leadership, women’s rights, and peace. The book offers a unique and compelling assessment of the future of the Middle East. Objectively written and eloquently presented, this book will enhance the scholarship of the Middle East and assist in the understanding the ability of political systems, government or state and non-government or civil society, in handling and managing current challenges facing the region.”

el-Sayed el-Aswad, Ph.D.
Prof. of Anthropology and Chair of Department of Sociology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
United Arab Emirates University

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Sheehan Invited to Paris to Participate in 2014 Conference for Democratic Change in Iran

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Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan has been invited to Paris as a guest of the Organizing Committee for the Convention of Democracy in Iran to serve as an Academic Observer at the largest gathering of the democratic Iranian opposition in exile on June 27, 2014. The event will feature remarks by leaders from more than fifty countries, a bipartisan delegation of U.S. policymakers, and distinguished academics from around the world. Democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and the deteriorating situation in neighboring Iraq will be discussed.

Sheehan’s early work involved quantitative analyses of terrorism incident data and examined the impact of preemptive force on terrorist activity. Since this time, he has published on topics related to evidence-based counterterrorism policy, terrorism courses, terror tagging, counterinsurgency, suicide terrorism, and regime change from within. His latest work has involved both peer-reviewed scholarship and policy-oriented writing on the Islamic Republic of Iran, frequently cited as the most significant state-sponsor of contemporary terrorism, and their democratic political opposition.

On June 7, 2014, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan  was invited to sign a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama along with 37 distinguished former U.S. officials, senior military leaders, and prominent academics. The letter condemns the ongoing mistreatment of Iranian dissidents detained at Camp Liberty in Iraq, outlines the gross injustices faced by the residents, and calls on Mr. Obama to do more to ensure the prompt and safe resettlement of the Iranian exiles before any additional lives are lost.

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Sheehan Joins Distinguished Signatories in Letter to President Obama Condemning Treatment of Iranian Dissidents

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On June 7, 2014, Dr. Ivan Sascha Sheehan  was invited to sign a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama along with 37 distinguished former U.S. officials, senior military leaders, and prominent academics. The letter condemns the ongoing mistreatment of Iranian dissidents detained at Camp Liberty in Iraq, outlines the gross injustices faced by the residents, and calls on Mr. Obama to do more to ensure the prompt and safe resettlement of the Iranian exiles before any additional lives are lost. #PDF

“… After Iraq assumed responsibility from the U.S. for the security of the exiles at the end of 2008, Iraqi military forces entered Camp Ashraf in July 2009 and April 2011 and attacked the defenseless residents with military-grade weaponry, killing and wounding many. Further lethal rocket and mortar attacks were staged against the residents following their 2011 relocation to Camp Liberty, with the attackers firing from within the Iraqi security perimeter and publicly claiming support from Iran. The deadly operation on September 1, 2013, where a group of MeK persons authorized to remain in Camp Ashraf and oversee disposition of the exiles’ property were systematically attacked, should have prompted an emergency reassessment of the U.S. approach to this problem.

Fifty-two exiles were murdered, many after being immobilized with plastic handcuffs and shot in the head with weapons using silencers. Seven men and women were abducted and remain missing, with the obvious concern that they may have been transferred to the hands of the Iranian government, where they would face virtually certain torture and execution. Cell phone videos and photographs of the unfolding attack on September 1 leave no doubt that uniformed members of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s “Golden Division” were the perpetrators, employing target acquisition skills and methods directly reflecting prior training by U.S. special operations forces…”

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