Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses [March 4, 2011]   [open pdf - 744KB]

"The Obama Administration views Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests, a perception generated not only by Iran's nuclear program but also by its military assistance to armed groups in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Palestinian group Hamas, and to Lebanese Hezbollah. Particularly in its first year, the Obama Administration altered the previous U.S. approach by offering Iran's leaders consistent and sustained engagement with the potential for closer integration with and acceptance by the West. To try to convince Iranian leaders of peaceful U.S. intent and respect for Iran's history and stature in the region, the Obama Administration downplayed any discussion of potential U.S. military action against Iranian nuclear facilities or efforts to try to change Iran's regime. The Administration held to this position even at the height of the protests by the domestic opposition 'Green movement' that took place for the six months following Iran's June 12, 2009, presidential election but largely ceased in 2010. However, as of February 2011, the Administration may be shifting to increased support of the Green movement. No nuclear agreement appears within reach with Iran, the Green movement has reactivated in the wake of the February 2011 ousting of Egyptian President Mubarak by a youth-led democracy movement similar to the Green movement, and many in the 112th Congress believe the United States should support virtually all popular democracy movements in the Middle East, including in Iran."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32048
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