This CRS report discusses U.S. concerns and policy responses to Iran. "The Bush Administration characterized Iran as a 'profound threat to U.S. national security interests,' a perception generated primarily by Iran's nuclear program and its military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese Hezbollah. The Bush Administration's approach was to try to prevent a nuclear breakout by Iran by applying coordinated international economic pressure on Iran while also offering it potential cooperation should it comply with the international demands to suspend its enrichment of uranium. The incorporation of diplomacy and engagement into the overall U.S. strategy led the Administration to approve the participation of a high-level State Department official at multilateral nuclear talks with Iran on July 19, 2008, although that meeting, and subsequent discussions, have not resulted in Iran's acceptance of the international offer of incentives. To strengthen its approach, the Bush Administration maintained a substantial naval presence in the Persian Gulf, which U.S. commanders insist would prevent any Iranian attempts to close the crucial Strait of Hormuz for any extended period."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32048