Sanctions

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Statement by President Obama on Cuba Policy Changes

President Barack Obama announced changes to the U.S. policy toward Cuba on December 17, 2014. Changes include reestablishing diplomatic relations for the first time since 1961, reviewing Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism according to the U.S. State Department, and increasing travel, trade, and commerce between the countries. In a speech to the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States Summit in January 2015, Cuban President Raul Castro describes conditions he wants as the two countries reestablish relations. At the Summit of the Americas in April 2015, which Cuba attended for the first time, President Obama and President Castro began discussions on these policy changes. In March 2016, President Obama traveled to Cuba, the first sitting U.S. president to do so since 1928.

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P5+1 Joint Plan of Action on Iran's Nuclear Program

The P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China, facilitated by the European Union) met with Iran in Geneva to discuss a diplomatic resolution regarding Iran's nuclear program. They released an initial plan of action November 24, 2013. The State Department released updates on January 12, 2014, and on July 22, 2014. On April 2, 2015, the group released the P5+1 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran's Nuclear Program.

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UN Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea: Somalia, 2013

The UN Security Council's Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea submitted this report on July 12, 2013, pursuant to resolutions 751 (1992) and 1907 (2009) concerning Somalia and Eritrea and in accordance with paragraph 13 (m) of Security Council resolution 2060 (2012). These resolutions address how the UN Security Council will monitor peace and security efforts in the region and report on violations such as trading arms and charcoal or funding terrorist organizations.

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President Obama signed this exective order on April 23, 2012. The White House states that it "establishes financial and travel sanctions against those who perpetrate or facilitate 'Grave Human Rights Abuses Via Information Technology' in Syria and Iran".

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Kirk-Menendez Iran Sanctions Amendment

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.

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