Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses [Updated September 24, 2008]   [open pdf - 493KB]

This is an updated report from the Congressional Research Service about security threats from Iran and policy responses. "The Bush Administration characterizes 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 approach to contain the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program is to strengthen international economic pressure on Iran while also offering Iran potential cooperation should it comply with the international demands to suspend its enrichment of uranium. […] A new U.N. Security Council resolution is being considered, although progress reportedly has been slowed by U.S.-Russia tensions over Georgia. A previous three U.N. resolutions (1737, 1747, and 1803) impose sanctions that ban weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-related trade with Iran; freeze the assets of Iran's nuclear and related entities and personalities; prevent Iran from transferring arms outside Iran; ban or require reporting on international travel by named Iranians; call for inspections of some Iranian sea and airborne cargo shipments; and call for restrictions on dealings with some Iranian banks. […] The Administration strongly denies that it is planning to take military action against Iran, but has refused to rule it out if no other efforts to curb Iran's uranium enrichment program succeed."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32048
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