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Iran's Economic Conditions: U.S. Policy Issues

Description: This report provides a general overview of Iran's economy, addresses related U.S. policy concerns, and discusses policy options for Congress. The purpose of this report is two-fold. First, it provides insight into important macroeconomic trends, policy reforms and objectives, key economic sectors, international trade patterns, and sources of foreign exchange. Second, in the context of U.S. economic sanctions imposed for national security and foreign policy reasons, the report evaluates Iran's economic structure, strengths, and vulnerabilities and discusses issues and options for Congress.
Date: June 15, 2009
Creator: Ilias, Shayerah

Islam: Sunnis and Shiites

Description: The majority of the world's Muslim population follows the Sunni branch of Islam, and approximately 10%-15% of all Muslims follow the Shiite (Shi'ite, Shi'a, Shia) branch. Shiite populations constitute a majority in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, and Azerbaijan. Sunnis and Shiites share most basic religious tenets. However, their differences sometimes have been the basis for religious intolerance, political infighting, and sectarian violence. This report includes a historical background of the Sunni-Shiite split and discusses the differences in religious beliefs and practices between and within each Islamic sect as well as their similarities. The report also relates Sunni and Shiite religious beliefs to discussions of terrorism and sectarian violence that may be of interest to Congress.
Date: November 9, 2010
Creator: Blanchard, Christopher M.

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Description: This report analyzes war funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) and tracks funding for USAID and Veteran's Affairs (VA) Medical funding. Information on costs helps Congress to assess the FY2010 Supplemental for war costs for the Department of Defense (DOD) and State/USAID FY2011 war requests; conduct oversight of past war costs; and consider the longer-term costs implications of the buildup of troops in Afghanistan and potential problems in the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Date: March 29, 2011
Creator: Belasco, Amy

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides examples of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran, based on a wide range of open-source reporting.
Date: October 11, 2013
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: This report discusses the reasons that Iran is considered a threat to U.S. security, including Iran's nuclear program, involvement with terrorist organizations, and involvement with neighboring countries' local governments. The report also discusses ways which the U.S. hopes to modify Iran's behavior with sanctions, and the effectiveness of these sanctions.
Date: November 4, 2013
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Description: This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Date: October 21, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Description: This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Date: September 29, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.

Iran: Regional Perspectives and U.S. Policy

Description: This report provides a description of Iran's neighbors' policies and interests, options for Congressional consideration, and an analysis of potential regional implications
Date: October 7, 2009
Creator: Addis, Casey L.; Blanchard, Christopher M.; Katzman, Kenneth; Carol Migdalovitz; Nichol, Jim; Sharp, Jeremy M. et al.

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions

Description: This report identifies the legislative bases for sanctions imposed on Iran, and the nature of the authority to waive or lift those restrictions. It comprises two tables that present legislation and executive orders that are specific to Iran and its objectionable activities in the areas of terrorism, human rights, and weapons proliferation.
Date: June 10, 2015
Creator: Rennack, Dianne E.

The Kurds in Post-Saddam Iraq

Description: This report discusses the state of the Kurdish-inhabited region of northern Iraq, which has been fairly peaceful since the fall of Saddam Hussein; however, the region is also home to friction with Christian and other minorities, with various Arab leaders of Iraq, and with neighboring Turkey and Iran.
Date: September 1, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran, Gulf Security, and U.S. Policy

Description: This report discusses current issues regarding the government and politics of Iran. Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, a priority of U.S. policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests, including the security of the Persian Gulf region. In 2014, a common adversary emerged in the form of the Islamic State organization, reducing gaps in U.S. and Iranian regional interests, although the two countries have somewhat differing approaches over how to try to defeat the group.
Date: May 19, 2015
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report discusses the increasing international pressure on Iran to curb its nuclear program and how that pressure discourages foreign firms from investing in Iran's energy sector, hindering Iran's efforts to expand oil production. This report discusses the history and progress of the formal U.S. effort to curb energy investment in Iran, which began with the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) in 1996.
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran Sanctions

Description: This report focuses on the United States' relationship with Iran and how the Obama Administration is handling prior administrations' economic sanctions against Iran. The Obama Administration's policy approach toward Iran has contrasted with the Bush Administration's by attempting to couple the imposition of sanctions to an active and direct U.S. effort to negotiate with Iran on the nuclear issue.
Date: August 18, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran's Nuclear Program: Status

Description: This report looks at the background of Iran's nuclear policy. It covers the current status of Iran's nuclear facilities, and current controversy surrounding them, as well as the effects of international sanctions on Iran, recent sabotages on the Iran Enrichment Program, an estimated timeline of Iran's nuclear weapon capabilities, and whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapons program.
Date: September 18, 2009
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.

The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

Description: In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.
Date: December 9, 2010
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.; Rollins, John & Theohary, Catherine A.

Israel: Possible Military Strike Against Iran's Nuclear Facilities

Description: Several published reports indicate that top Israeli decision makers now are seriously considering whether to order a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, and if so, when. This report analyzes key factors that may influence current Israeli political decisions relating to a possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. For Congress, the potential impact-short- and long-term-of an Israeli decision regarding Iran and its implementation is a critical issue of concern. By all accounts, such an attack could have considerable regional and global security, political, and economic repercussions, not least for the United States, Israel, and their bilateral relationship. This report has many aspects that are the subject of vigorous debate and remain fully or partially outside public knowledge.
Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Zanotti, Jim; Katzman, Kenneth; Gertler, Jeremiah & Hildreth, Steven A.

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: 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.
Date: September 5, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: The issue of Iran and its nuclear program has emerged as a top priority for the Obama Administration. The United States also sees a threat to U.S. interests posed by Iran's support for militant groups in the Middle East and in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tensions have been particularly elevated since Iran's late-December 2011 threat to try to choke off much of the world's oil supplies -a reaction to the imposition of significant sanctions against Iran's vital exports of oil. The heightened tensions follow three years in which the Obama Administration has assembled a broad international coalition to pressure Iran through economic sanctions while also offering sustained engagement with Iran if it verifiably assures the international community that its nuclear program is peaceful. The Administration uses indicators such as Iran's economic deterioration and its willingness to engage in new talks as evidence that policy is starting to work and should be given more time before any consideration of U.S. or other country military options. The Administration also perceives that the legitimacy and popularity of Iran's regime is in decline, although not to the point where the regime's grip on power is threatened. Over the past two years, the United States has increased public criticism of Iran's human rights record, an effort broadly supported in the international community.
Date: March 23, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

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.
Date: September 22, 2010
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

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.
Date: May 13, 2011
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses

Description: 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 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.
Date: January 30, 2012
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Options

Description: This report discusses issues for Congress regarding foreign policy toward Iran. 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.”
Date: August 25, 2006
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth