Iran Won't Close the Strait of Hormuz

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.

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Primary Sources

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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Pressuring a Defiant Syria

Mohamad Bazzi interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

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.

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The Atlantic: The Quest for Libya's Frozen Assets

Author: Sophie Quinton

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.

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Primary Sources

Clinton's Remarks on the Situation in Syria, August 2011

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."


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White House Fact Sheet on Syria, August 2011

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".

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Primary Sources

Executive Order Blocking Property of the Government of Syria and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to Syria, August 2011

Author: Barack Obama

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".


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Cranking up Pressure on Syria

Andrew Tabler interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

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.

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