Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses [Updated October 9, 2007]   [open pdf - 471KB]

"According to the Administration's 'National Security Strategy' document released on March 16, 2006, the United States 'may face no greater challenge from a single country than Iran.' That perception continues, generated primarily by Iran's nuclear program and intensified by Iran's military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan and to Lebanese Hezbollah. In part to direct regional attention to that view but also to engage Iran on an Iraq solution, the Administration attended regional conferences on Iraq on March 10, 2007, and May 3-4, 2007, both attended by Iran (and Syria), and subsequently has held a series of bilateral meetings with Iran in Baghdad. The Bush Administration is pursuing several approaches to attempt to contain the potential threat posed by Iran, but the U.S. emphasis now is to strengthen international economic sanctions on Iran to compel Iran to comply with the U.N. Security Council deadlines since August 2006 that have demanded it cease uranium enrichment. Two U.N. resolutions (1737 and 1747) 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, and require reporting on international travel by named Iranians. With Iran still refusing to comply on enrichment but offering to reveal to the International Atomic Energy Agency additional information […], further steps are under discussion at the U.N. Security Council, although some Security Council members want to await the results of additional diplomacy before extending sanctions to civilian trade issues. "

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32048
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