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Iran Sanctions

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There is broad international support for imposing progressively strict economic sanctions on Iran to try to compel it to verifiably confine its nuclear program to purely peaceful uses. During 2011, there was broad agreement among experts that sanctions had not hurt Irans economy enough for the Iranian leadership to feel pressured to accommodate core Western goals on Irans nuclear program. As 2012 begins, Iran is indicating it sees new multilateral sanctions against its oil exports as a severe threat, to the point of Iran possibly threatening armed conflict in the Strait of Hormuz. Iran also has indicated receptivity to new nuclear talks in the hopes of reversing the oil export-related sanctions being implemented. The energy sector provides nearly 70 of Irans government revenues. Irans alarm stems from the potential loss of oil sales as a result of the following 1 A decision by the European Union on January 23, 2012, to wind down purchases of Iranian crude oil by July 1, 2012 2 Decisions by other Iranian oil purchasers, such as Japan, South Korea, India, and China, to reduce purchases of Iranian oil and 3 The willingness of other oil producers with spare capacity, particularly Saudi Arabia, a strategic rival, to sell additional oil to countries cutting Iranian oil buys. Even before these latest sanctions, the signs of economic pressure that sanctions are placing on Iran were multiplying. The value of Irans rial has dropped precipitously since December 2011. Iranian leaders have admitted that Iran is virtually cut off from the international banking system. The announced pullouts from Iran by major international firms have accelerated since early 2010, slowing Irans efforts to modernize its energy sector and other sectors as foreign firms take with them irreplaceable expertise. In the 112th Congress, legislation, such as S. 1048 and H.R. 1905, would enhance both the economic sanctions and human rights-related provisions of CISADA and other laws.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Nuclear Weapons

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