This bipartisan amendment to the 2012 defense authorization bill, by Senators Robert Menendez and Mark Kirk, places sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran and foreign institutions doing business with the Central Bank of Iran. Humanitarian exceptions are made for medicine, food, and medical equipment. The bill also allows the president to suspend sanctions if he finds it a matter of national security. The bill passed the Senate on December 1, 2011.
Syria is faced with an increasing number of international sanctions for its bloody crackdown against protesters. CFR's Mohamad Bazzi says the crises facing the regime are unprecedented, but the regime doesn't appear to be giving in.
The Atlantic's Sophie Quinton outlines the obstacles Libyan rebels face as they seek $160 billion in frozen assets. Rebels will have to navigate a maze of United Nations sanctions, unilateral sanctions, and layers of property law to receive the money from Muammar el-Qaddafi's regime.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave these remarks regarding the situation in Syria on August 18, 2011. She stated, "This morning, President Obama called on Asad to step aside and announced the strongest set of sanctions to date targeting the Syrian Government. These sanctions include the energy sector to increase pressure on the regime. The transition to democracy in Syria has begun, and it's time for Asad to get out of the way."
The White House released this fact sheet on Syria on August 18, 2011, regarding the U.S.' "series of steps and actions to work toward putting an end to the Syrian government’s violence, arrests, and torture, supporting the Syrian people’s universal rights, and pushing for a democratic transition".
President Obama signed this Executive Order on August 18, 2011. The order, according to the White House, "blocks the property of the Syrian government, bans U.S. persons from new investments in or exporting services to Syria, and bans U.S. imports of, and other transactions or dealings in, Syrian-origin petroleum or petroleum products".
With Bashar al-Assad's government thumbing its nose at global anger as it continues a violent crackdown on protesters, the international community should step up pressure and invoke tough sanctions against Syria's oil exports, says expert Andrew Tabler.
The Obama administration's plan to seize frozen Libyan assets and use them for Libyan aid is a dramatic, and probably unilateral, exercise of U.S. power that is likely to yield a relatively modest sum of money, says CFR's Stuart Levey.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner signaled the administration's frustration with China's exchange rate policy, while stopping short of endorsing congressional action. But unless China acts soon, the U.S. may have no other choice than to apply sanctions, writes CFR's Steven Dunaway.
Sanctions have weakened Iran, but expert Hossein G. Askari says the country's leaders continue to muddle through, in part because of popular support for uranium enrichment--the cause of mounting global pressure.
Washington's new sanctions against North Korea, focusing on international financial institutions and banking systems, are likely to have more impact than trade sanctions, says North Korea economic expert Marcus Noland.
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