Micah Zenko and Emma Welch argue that while the Republican presidential candidates overwhelmingly describe the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability as "unacceptable" and endorse the use of military force if that were necessary to prevent an Iranian bomb, there is a complete absence of any details on how the use of force could accomplish this ambitious objective.
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.
Opponents of military action against Iran assume a U.S. military strike would be far more dangerous than simply letting Tehran build a bomb. Not so, argues this former Pentagon defense planner. With a carefully designed strike, Washington could mitigate the costs—or at least bring them down to a bearable level—and spare the region and the world from an unacceptable threat.
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.
Elliott Abrams discusses the recent attacks on the British Embassy in Iran and says the United States and its allies must to use this opportunity get behind President Sarkozy's proposal to sanction Iran's central bank and stop its oil exports.
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.