Accession Number : AD1020904

Title :   Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy

Descriptive Note : Technical Report

Corporate Author : Congressional Research Service Washington United States

Personal Author(s) : Katzman,Kenneth

Full Text :

Report Date : 25 Oct 2016

Pagination or Media Count : 35

Abstract : Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, a priority of U.S. policy has been primarily to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. U.S. officials also express a broad range of concerns about Irans human rights abuses, particularly its continued arrests and detention of U.S.-Iran dual nationals. During the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. officials identified Irans support for militant Middle East groups as the primary threat posed by Iran to U.S. interests and allies. Irans nuclear program took precedence in U.S. policy after 2002 as the program expanded and the chances that Iran could develop a nuclear weapon increased. Beginning in 2010, the United States orchestrated broad international economic pressure on Iran to persuade it to agree to strict limits on the program. The pressure might have contributed to the June 2013 election of the relatively moderate Hassan Rouhani as president of Iran, whose government subsequently negotiated a November 2013 interim nuclear agreement and then the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was finalized on July 14, 2015. The JCPOA, which began formal implementation on January 16, 2016, exchanged broad sanctions relief for nuclear program limits intended to give the international community confidence that Iran would require at least a year to produce a nuclear weapon if it decided to do so.President Obama has asserted that the implementation of the JCPOA presents an opportunity to reduce the long-standing U.S.-Iran enmity and construct a new relationship. However, Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles, sought new conventional arms from Russia, maintained support for regional movements and factions such as Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and Lebanese Hezbollah, insisted on additional sanctions relief, arrested additional U.S.-Iran dual nationals, and threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if Iran is attacked.

Descriptors :   iran , united states government , government (foreign) , human rights , international relations , foreign policy , history , ballistic missiles , ELECTIONS , NATIONAL POLITICS , agreements , economic sanctions , DIPLOMACY

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE