In his testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, Ray Takeyh discusses the conflicting priorities of Iran's Supreme Leader. Khamenei needs America as an enemy and a robust nuclear infrastructure to legitimize his rule. Yet, these enmities only further erode his economy and potentially threaten his hold on power.
Sanctions have been a major part of the U.S. policy toward Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. This Congressional Research Service report looks at the history and effects of some of the overlapping U.S. and international sanctioning efforts toward Iran's nuclear program.
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".
Meghan L. O'Sullivan argues, "...the [United states] should work with its Western and Arab allies to craft a coordinated strategy that, alongside sanctions, is aimed at turning the Syrian resistance into a viable alternative to Assad--and uses the prospect of military support as an incentive for doing so"
Richard N. Haass and Michael A. Levi say it is in the American interest to pursue a negotiated outcome to the current impasse with Iran because the main alternatives to diplomacy—war or the existence of an Iran with nuclear weapons—will be costly and risky.
The extraordinary risks posed by a nuclear-armed Iran require Washington and its partners to step up activity on economic sanctions and diplomacy, even while preparing military options, says CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Iran's threat to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz is intended to signal its deterrent capacity to the United States and bolster leadership at home amid biting economic sanctions, says expert Michael Elleman.
Authors: Captain Bradley S. Russell, USN and Max Boot Wall Street Journal
Captain Bradley S. Russell, USN and Max Boot argue that Iran must realize that by initiating direct hostilities in the Strait of Hormuz, it risks American retaliation against their covert nuclear-weapons program.
Authors: Ray Takeyh and Suzanne Maloney International Affairs
Ray Takeyh and Suzanne Maloney say that despite decades of struggling under punitive financial measures, Iran has persisted with its objectionable policies, ranging from terrorism to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
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 Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Koblentz argues that the United States should work with other nuclear-armed states to manage threats to nuclear stability in the near term and establish processes for multilateral arms control efforts over the longer term.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »