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CRS-Iran, September 22, 2010

CRS-Iran, September 22, 2010

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Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Dr. Kenneth Katzman Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs September 22, 2010

Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL32048

CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

Report Documentation Page

Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188

Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Dr. Kenneth Katzman Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs September 22, 2010

Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL32048

CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress

Report Documentation Page

Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188

Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering

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Published by: Confederation of Iranian students on Oct 23, 2011
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CRS Report for Congress
Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
Kenneth Katzman
Specialist in Middle Eastern AffairsSeptember 22, 2010
Congressional Research Service
7-5700www.crs.govRL32048
 
Report Documentation Page
Form Approved OMB No. 0704-0188
Public reporting burden for the collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering andmaintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information,including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Washington Headquarters Services, Directorate for Information Operations and Reports, 1215 Jefferson Davis Highway, Suite 1204, ArlingtonVA 22202-4302. Respondents should be aware that notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person shall be subject to a penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information if itdoes not display a currently valid OMB control number.
 
1. REPORT DATE
 
22 SEP 2010
 
2. REPORT TYPE
 
3. DATES COVERED
 
00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010
4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE
 
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
 
5a. CONTRACT NUMBER
 
5b. GRANT NUMBER
 
5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER
 
6. AUTHOR(S)
 
5d. PROJECT NUMBER
 
5e. TASK NUMBER
 
5f. WORK UNIT NUMBER
 
7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
 
Congressional Research Service,The Library of Congress,101Independence Avenue SE,Washington,DC,20540-7500
 
8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATIONREPORT NUMBER
 
9. SPONSORING/MONITORING AGENCY NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES)
 
10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S)
 
11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORTNUMBER(S)
 
12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT
 
Approved for public release; distribution unlimited
 
13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES
 
14. ABSTRACT
 
15. SUBJECT TERMS
 
16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF:
 
17. LIMITATION OFABSTRACT
 
Same asReport (SAR)
 
18. NUMBEROF PAGES
 
70
 
19a. NAME OFRESPONSIBLE PERSON
 
a. REPORT
 
unclassified
 
b. ABSTRACT
 
unclassified
 
c. THIS PAGE
 
unclassified
 
Standard Form 298 (Rev. 8-98)
 Prescribed by ANSI Std Z39-18
 
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy ResponsesCongressional Research Service
Summary
The Obama Administration views Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests, aperception is generated not only by Iran’s nuclear program but also by its military assistance toarmed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to LebaneseHezbollah. Particularly in its first year, the Obama Administration altered the previous U.S.approach by expanding direct diplomatic engagement with Iran’s government and by offeringIran’s leaders an alternative vision of closer integration with and acceptance by the West. To try toconvince Iranian leaders of peaceful U.S. intent, the Obama Administration downplayeddiscussion of potential U.S. military action against Iranian nuclear facilities and repeatedlyinsisted that it did not seek to change Iran’s regime. It held to this position even at the height of the protests by the domestic opposition “Green movement” that emerged following Iran’s June12, 2009, presidential election.Iran’s refusal to accept the details of an October 1, 2009, tentative agreement to lessen concernsabout its nuclear intentions—coupled with its crackdown on the Green movement—caused theAdministration, in 2010, to shift toward building multilateral support for strict economicsanctions against Iran. The Administration efforts bore fruit on June 9, 2009 when a U.N. SecurityCouncil was adopted (Resolution 1929) that required countries to take a number of significantsteps against Iran, including banning major arms sales to Iran, and authorized a number of additional significant steps. During July-September 2010, the European Union, Japan, SouthKorea, and other countries announced multilateral sanctions against Iran that use much of theauthorities of Resolution 1929, and which also supports elements of U.S. legislations passed inJune 2010 (the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, P.L. 11-195).Still, the Administration and its partners assert that these sanctions are intended to pave the wayfor successful diplomacy with Iran to limit its nuclear program.Many observers assess that the U.S., U.N., and other “national” sanctions enacted since mid-2010are pressing Iran economically. However, because the sanctions have not and might not cause Iranto fundamentally alter its commitment to its nuclear program, the Administration reportedly hasrevived deliberations of possible military action to try to set Iran’s nuclear program back. Otheroptions include methods to contain Iran if it does become a nuclear armed power. Some believethat only domestic opposition in Iran, which in late 2009 appeared to pose a potentially seriouschallenge to the regime’s grip on power, may provide a clear opportunity to reduce the potentialthreat of a nuclear Iran. Obama Administration officials appear to believe that the opposition’sprospects are enhanced by a low U.S. public profile on the unrest. Congressional resolutions andlegislation since mid-2009 show growing congressional support for steps to enhance theopposition’s prospects. Others maintain that the prospects for the domestic opposition, which hasbeen largely absent from the streets in 2010, are poor, and that other options are fraught withrisks, and that the Administration should return to a focus on reaching a nuclear agreement withIran. For further information, see CRS Report RS20871,
 Iran Sanctions
; CRS Report R40849,
 Iran: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy
; and CRS Report RL34544,
 Iran’s Nuclear Program: Status
.

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