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Image in background by Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. People in Iran burning the flags of the United States and Israel


Behnam Ben Taleblu — The Role of Iran in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Behnam Ben Taleblu is a senior fellow at Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) where he focuses on Iranian security and political issues. Behnam previously served as a research fellow and senior Iran analyst at FDD. Prior to his time at FDD, Behnam worked on non-proliferation issues at an arms control think-tank in Washington. Leveraging his subject-matter expertise and native Farsi skills, Behnam has closely tracked a wide range of Iran-related topics including: nuclear non-proliferation, ballistic missiles, sanctions, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the foreign and security policy of the Islamic Republic, and internal Iranian politics. Frequently called upon to brief journalists, congressional staff, and other Washington-audiences, Behnam has also testified before the U.S. Congress and Canadian Parliament.

His analysis has been quoted in the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Fox News, Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse, among others. Additionally, he has contributed to or co-authored articles for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Fox News, The Hill, War on the Rocks, The National Interest, and U.S. News & World Report. Behnam has appeared on a variety of broadcast programs, including BBC News, Fox News, CBS Interactive, C-SPAN, and Defense News. Behnam earned his MA in International Relations from The University of Chicago, and his BA in International Affairs and Middle East Studies from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

Shermer and Taleblu discuss:

  • Iran and Hamas
  • Hamas and Israel
  • Iran and Israel: do they really want to wipe Israel off the map?
  • Islam, Islamism, Jihadism
  • Sharia Law
  • Hamas, Hezbollah, and terrorism in the Middle East
  • Iran and nuclear weapons
  • Would Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) work with Iran?
  • Do economic sanctions work against Iran?
  • Trump’s strategies in the Middle East: what worked, what didn’t and why
  • Iran, the Iran Deal, and why they support terrorists
  • U.S. support for Israel
  • The Biden Administrations culpability in releasing/sending $16 billion to Iran
  • $95 billion oil revenue
  • Iran’s U.S. support for Israel
  • How weaker nations can fight stronger nations
  • The state of democracies in the world
  • The state of U.S. democracy.

This episode was released on November 4, 2023.

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