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.
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.
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.
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.
The latest round of UN and U.S. sanctions on Iran are unlikely to push Iran to negotiations, says sanctions expert Meghan O’Sullivan, which means the U.S. and its allies will need to look at options including military force, among others.
Analyst Joseph S. Nye Jr. says the Obama administration’s emphasis on multilateralism raises the prospects for dealing with Iran effectively on its nuclear program but expects no diplomatic breakthroughs in the short term.
Korea expert Victor D. Cha says effective implementation of the UN sanctions imposed on Pyongyang in June prompted recent conciliatory gestures from the regime. He says the United States might resume bilateral talks with North Korea in addition to pursuing multilateral discussions on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
Low oil prices are undermining Iran’s economy, a political liability for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as he seeks reelection in June. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a former Iranian central bank economist, assesses the link between politics and economy in Iran.