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.
Despite a spotty record of effectiveness, Western states continue to promote UN sanctions in cases ranging from North Korea to Iran. But the UN Security Council is more divided than ever about implementing these coercive measures.
The president of the American Council on Germany sees a "definite improvement" in U.S.-German relations since Angela Merkel became chancellor five months ago. Ahead of Merkel’s second visit to Washington this year, William Drozdiak says that a key issue for Merkel and President Bush is what to do about Iran’s nuclear program.
The UN Security Council is debating how to restrict Iran’s nuclear program. Western states seek a firm statement and the threat of eventual sanctions if Iran does not suspend its uranium enrichment work. But Russia and China oppose sanctions, leading to talk about economic penalties outside the United Nations’ authority.