Iran: Internal Politics and U.S. Policy and Options [Updated February 6, 2020]   [open pdf - 2MB]

From the Document: "Before and since the escalation of U.S.-Iran tensions in May 2019, President Trump has indicated a willingness to meet with Iranian leaders without preconditions. Iranian leaders say there will be no direct high level U.S.-Iran meetings until the United States reenters the 2015 JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] and lifts U.S. sanctions as provided for in that agreement. Administration statements and reports detail a long litany of objectionable behaviors that Iran must change for there to be a normalization of relations. Some experts assert that the threat posed by Iran stems from the nature and ideology of Iran's regime, and that the underlying, if unstated, goal of Trump Administration policy is to bring about regime collapse. In the context of escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, President Trump has specifically denied that this is his Administration's goal. Any U.S. regime change strategy presumably would take advantage of divisions and fissures within Iran, as well as evident popular unrest resulting from political and economic frustration. Unrest in recent years has not appeared to threaten the regime's grip on power. However, significant protests and riots, including burning of some government installations and private establishments, broke out on November 15 in response to a government announcement of a reduction in fuel subsidies, as well as in January 2020 in response to the regime's concealment of responsibility for accidentally downing a Ukraine passenger aircraft."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32048
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
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