This report discusses the effects of economic sanctions against Iran; support to the Iranian democracy movement; and opposition against Iranian human rights violations and Iranian support for Syrian human rights violations. The Obama Administration identifies Iran as a major threat to U.S. national security interests. The sense of imminent crisis with Iran which greeted the beginning of 2012 follows three years in which the Obama Administration first offered Iran's leaders consistent and sustained engagement in exchange for limits to its nuclear program but, since 2010, has emphasized pressuring Iran through economic sanctions.
This report briefly examines arms control ratification and opportunities for modifying agreements. On July 14, 2015, Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China, and Germany (the P5+1) finalized a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)--an agreement that restricts Iran's nuclear program in an effort to ensure that it can only be used for peaceful purposes.
This report provides, in brief, analysis of the congressional procedural provisions laid out in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-17). The act establishes a period for Congress to review any comprehensive agreement, during which certain presidential actions to provide relief from sanctions on Iran are barred.