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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Date: July 10, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Much of the debate over U.S. policy toward Iran has centered on the nature of the current regime; some believe that Iran, a country of about 70 million people, is a threat to U.S. interests because hardliners in Iran's regime dominate and set a policy direction intended to challenge U.S. influence and allies in the region. President George W. Bush, in his January 29, 2002, State of the Union message, labeled Iran part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea. This report discusses how the Obama Administration differs from the Bush Administration regarding strategy in Iran relations. This report also discusses the current political state of Iran, including incidents of violence and unrest.
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Afghanistan and Pakistan Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs), H.R. 1318/H.R. 1886/H.R. 2410 and S. 496: Issues and Arguments

Afghanistan and Pakistan Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs), H.R. 1318/H.R. 1886/H.R. 2410 and S. 496: Issues and Arguments

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Bolle, Mary Jane
Description: This report discusses legislation related to the Pakistan Enduring Assistance and Cooperation Enhancement Act (H.R. 1886), the Afghanistan-Pakistan Security and Prosperity Enhancement Act (H.R. 1318), and the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011 (H.R. 2410). It also discusses the Afghanistan and Pakistan Reconstruction Opportunity Zones Act (S. 496). The report also discusses how this legislation represents a political and symbolic importance for U.S. relationships with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
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Iran Sanctions

Iran Sanctions

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iran is subject to a wide range of U.S. sanctions, restricting trade with, investment, and U.S. foreign aid to Iran, and requiring the United States to vote against international lending to Iran. A formal U.S. effort to curb international energy investment in Iran began in 1996 with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA). ISA was first passed at a time of tightening U.S. sanctions on Iran. Most notable was a 1995 ban on U.S. trade with and investment in Iran. That ban has since been modified slightly to allow for some bilateral trade in luxury and humanitarian-related goods. In the 110th Congress, two bills passed the House (H.R. 1400 and H.R. 7112) that would add several ISA provisions.
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Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Saudi Arabia: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.
Description: This report discusses the current state of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its current relationship with the United States, and future initiatives to further develop U.S.-Saudi relations.
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Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options

Strategic Arms Control After START: Issues and Options

Date: July 9, 2009
Creator: Woolf, Amy F.
Description: The United States and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty in 1991; it entered into force in December 1994 and is due to expire in December 2009. The United States and Russia have held several meetings to discuss options for continuing their arms control relationship. This report provides background information about the START Treaty and reviews the discussions about a possible successor to START. It also presents a range of alternatives that the United States and Russia might consider if they choose to follow START with a new framework for the arms control process.
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Afghanistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Afghanistan: U.S. Foreign Assistance

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Tarnoff, Curt
Description: The U.S. program of assistance to Afghanistan is intended to stabilize and strengthen the Afghan economic, social, political, and security environment so as to blunt popular support for extremist forces in the region. Since 2001, nearly $38 billion has been appropriated toward this effort. This report provides a "big picture" overview of the U.S. aid program and congressional action. It describes what various aid agencies report they are doing in Afghanistan. It does not address the effectiveness of their programs.
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Ghana: Background and U.S. Relations

Ghana: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Description: This report provides information on current developments in Ghana and Ghana's relations with the United States, which are close. It describes the purpose of President Barack Obama's forthcoming trip to Ghana, which will focus on issues of good governance and socio-economic and political development, and characterizes the current state of play in bilateral relations. It also summarizes the policy agenda of Ghana's president, John Atta Mills, who won office by a narrow margin in elections in late 2008. The dynamics of that election are described in the report, as are recent policy-centered developments, economic challenges and performance, and socio-economic prospects. Ghana's international relations and bilateral development cooperation with the United States are also covered in the report.
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Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Iraq: Post-Saddam Governance and Security

Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: The Obama Administration is facing a security environment in Iraq vastly improved over that which prevailed during 2005-2007, although still not completely peaceful or without potential to deteriorate significantly. Some U.S. officials believe that further U.S. military presence might be needed beyond the projected 2011 withdrawal date, and that political disputes among Iraqi factions could escalate and reignite civil conflict in the absence of a U.S. presence. This report discusses these issues in detail, as well as the factors that have contributed to the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops, including mounting casualties and financial costs.
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Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

Yemen: Background and U.S. Relations

Date: July 7, 2009
Creator: Sharp, Jeremy M.
Description: With limited natural resources, a crippling illiteracy rate, and high population growth, Yemen faces an array of daunting development challenges that some observers believe make it at risk for becoming a failed state in the next few decades. As the country's population rapidly rises, resources dwindle, and terrorist groups take root in the outlying provinces, the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress are left to grapple with the consequences of Yemeni instability. As President Obama and the 111th Congress reassess U.S. policy toward the Arab world, the opportunity for improved U.S.-Yemeni ties is strong, though recurring tensions over counterterrorism cooperation and lack of U.S. interest in Yemen within the broader foreign policy community persist.
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Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Iran's 2009 Presidential Elections

Date: July 6, 2009
Creator: Addis, Casey L.
Description: This report analyzes and discusses Iran's 2009 presidential election, particularly the campaigns of reformist candidate Mir Hussein Musavi and incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Allegations of vote rigging and election fraud have led to protests by supporters of candidate Musavi and have provoked international attention. This report also discusses the Obama Administration's reaction to the election results. This report also discusses briefly the current relationship between the U.S. and Iran, as well as U.S. concerns regarding Iran, such as Iran's efforts at building a nuclear weapons program.
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