Ilan Berman

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Ilan I. Berman
Born (1975-12-23) December 23, 1975 (age 44)
EducationBrandeis University (BA)
American University (MA, JD)
OccupationLawyer, Educator
Known forMiddle East and Iran analysis
Notable work
Winning the Long War: Retaking the Offensive Against Radical Islam (2009); Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States ( 2005)

Ilan I. Berman (born December 23, 1975) is an American lawyer and educator. He is the Vice President of the American Foreign Policy Council, a non-profit U.S. foreign policy think tank in Washington, DC.[1] He focuses on regional security in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Russian Federation.[1]


Berman has a BA in Politics from Brandeis University, an MA in International Politics from American University, and a JD from Washington College of Law.[2]


Berman is Adjunct Professor for International Law and Global Security at the National Defense University, and a member of the Associated Faculty at Missouri State University's Department of Defense and Strategic Studies.[1] He also serves as a member of the Committee on the Present Danger, writes a monthly column for, and is an Editor of The Journal of International Security Affairs.[1][3] He has also advised the United States Department of Defense, agencies of the U.S. government including the CIA, and offices of congressmen on matters of foreign policy and national security.[1][4][5]


In November 2002, Al Ahram Weekly quoted him as remarking with regard to the U.S.'s targeted killing of al-Qaeda terrorists in Yemen,

It is too early to tell whether this event alone will precipitate a shift toward explicit support of such tactics as employed by Israel on Washington's part. What does seem clear, however, is that the United States and Israel are gravitating toward increasingly similar perceptions, and possibly strategies, in the war on terrorism.[6]

He wrote in his 2005 book Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States and has said in speeches that in displacing Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq which had been an enemy of Iran, and the Taliban in Afghanistan which had been a rival, the United States had unintentionally taken away two significant checks on the power of Iran in the Middle East.[7][8][9][10]

In August 2006 he noted that to that point in time, the U.S. had had a lot of difficulty in convincing especially Russia and China, to support sanctions on Iran for its moving forward with its uranium enrichment program, and that "both Moscow and Beijing are major strategic partners of the Islamic republic and have a vested interest in protecting their investments in the Iranian regime."[11] In July 2008 he observed: ""The Iranians are playing a colossal game of chicken with us," and asked: "Does the international community have the will to take the short-term pain and disarm these guys, or accept the long-term pain of a region completely dominated by this regime? I think the world community has essentially come to grips with the fact that Iran is going to go nuclear."[12]

In October 2009, Berman noted: "The Iranian strategy has been pretty consistent all along; to keep the West talking while they work on their nuclear program."[13] In March 2010, commenting on Iran's warning to Europe not to sanction it, he observed:

The Iranians have a pattern of warning anyone threatening to get tough with them, basically saying, 'Don't do this, because there will be consequences. What's notable here is that they are singling out Europe. It's a sure sign Europe is being more activist [about curtailing economic ties to Iran] than it normally is."[14]

Lou Dobbs of CNN described him as "one of the [U.S.]'s leading experts on the Middle East and Iran."[15]



Select articles[edit]

Statement before Congress[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "American Foreign Policy Council – Experts » Ilan I. Berman". Archived from the original on August 26, 2018. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  2. ^ "Welcome to CISA". Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  3. ^ "Columnists". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "The Arena: – Ilan Berman Bio". Politico. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  5. ^ "Forbes » Contributor Profile » Ilan Berman". Forbes. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  6. ^ Nyier Abdou (November 20, 2002). "Region | Death by Predator". Al-Ahram Weekly. Archived from the original on January 23, 2011. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  7. ^ "Iran flaunts options on striking back at West". April 27, 2006. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  8. ^ Paul Owens (October 2, 2005). "A Dire Threat; Author details the dangers Iran poses, including its nuclear program and how it finances terror with oil". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Alexis Fabbri (November 21, 2005). "Focus on Iraq helps Iran". UPI Security & Terrorism. Retrieved November 17, 2011.[dead link]
  10. ^ John Hall (October 2, 2005). "War in Iraq has Opened Door for Iran". Indiana Gazette. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  11. ^ Stannard, Matthew B. (August 27, 2006). "U.N. unlikely to punish Iran – experts / Some say even light sanctions wrong way to curb nuclear drive". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  12. ^ Ward, Olivia (July 22, 2008). "Iran talks 'colossal game of chicken'". The Toronto Star. Toronto. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  13. ^ Jonathan Tirone and Ali Sheikholeslami (October 29, 2009). "Iran Reply to UN Fuel Plan Falls Short of Acceptance (Update1)". Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  14. ^ Howard LaFranchi (March 1, 2010). "Nuclear weapons worries: Is threat of Iran sanctions making Tehran testy with Europe?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  15. ^ " – Transcripts". CNN. December 17, 2008. Retrieved May 23, 2010.

External links[edit]