Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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The Obama Administration views Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests, a perception is generated not only by Irans nuclear program but also by its military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese Hezbollah. Particularly in its first year, the Obama Administration altered the previous U.S. approach by expanding direct diplomatic engagement with Irans government and by offering Irans leaders an alternative vision of closer integration with and acceptance by the West. To try to convince Iranian leaders of peaceful U.S. intent, the Obama Administration downplayed discussion of potential U.S. military action against Iranian nuclear facilities and repeatedly insisted that it did not seek to change Irans regime. It held to this position even at the height of the protests by the domestic opposition Green movement that emerged following Irans June 12, 2009, presidential election. Irans refusal to accept the details of an October 1, 2009, tentative agreement to lessen concerns about its nuclear intentions-coupled with its crackdown on the Green movement-caused the Administration, in 2010, to shift toward building multilateral support for strict economic sanctions against Iran. The Administration efforts bore fruit on June 9, 2009 when a U.N. Security Council was adopted Resolution 1929 that required countries to take a number of significant steps 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, South Korea, and other countries announced multilateral sanctions against Iran that use much of the authorities of Resolution 1929, and which also supports elements of U.S. legislations passed in June 2010 the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act, P.L. 11-195.
- Government and Political Science