The following is a Jan. 15, 2014 Congressional Research Service on the impact of the ongoing sanctions on Iran. Read More
As negotiators in Geneva, Switzerland work out the final details for an agreement that will allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to Iran’s nuclear facilities in return for relief of some of the economic sanctions on Iran, hawks in Washington, Tel Aviv and Riyadh have come together in opposition to the proposed deal. The P5+1 diplomatic initiative (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) reached an initial agreement with Iran in November. Read More
From the Nov. 4, 2013 Congressional Research Service report, Iran: U.S. Concerns and Policy Responses.
A priority of Obama Administration policy has been to reduce the perceived threat posed by Iran to a broad range of U.S. interests. Well before Iran’s nuclear issue rose to the forefront of U.S. concerns about Iran in 2003, the United States had seen Iran’s support for regional militant groups, such as Lebanese Hezbollah, as efforts to undermine U.S. interests and allies. Read More
Iran has launched a new class of indigenous submarine, according to a Tuesday report in Jane’s Defence Weekly. Read More
Russian officials are calling for the U.S. to stop developing its European land-based missile defense program following a deal reached over the weekend that curtail Iran’s atomic weapons program. Read More
In advance of the third round of six-party talks with Iran in Geneva this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is spending a great deal of time flooding the information sphere with dire warnings that the United States and five other nations are ready to give Iran what he calls the “deal of the century.” Netanyahu contends that “the sanctions are just beginning to work” and the proposed interim agreement with Iran does not go far enough in ensuring that Iran does not have the ability to build a nuclear weapon. Read More
The Pentagon is taking its next steps in developing the often misunderstood and occasionally controversial Air-Sea Battle concept, according to several USNI News interviews with Navy and defense officials. Read More
When looking for insights and answers to the complex problem the United States confronts in Syria, there is no shortage of examples of punitive military operations against bad actors from which to draw lessons. In the past 30 years the United States and its allies have launched punitive airstrikes against, to name a few: Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sudan and Afghanistan. Clearly the “measured military response” is a favored approach for American leaders when dealing with rogue actors. What is interesting this time around is the unprecedented public debate about whether or not such tactical measures actually work. Read More
The following is a July Congressional Research Service on the impact of the ongoing sanctions on Iran,
Increasingly strict sanctions on Iran—sanctions that primarily target Iran’s key energy sector as well as its ability to access the international financial system—have harmed Iran’s economy, but not to the point where key Iran leaders have been compelled to reach a compromise with the international community on Iran’s nuclear program. The strategic effects of sanctions might be abating as Iran adjusts to them economically and advertises the adverse humanitarian effects. Nevertheless, the June 14, 2013, election of Hassan Rouhani, who ran on a platform of achieving an easing of sanctions, as Iran’s president suggests that sanctions are affecting political outcomes in Iran. Read More
Saudi Arabia appears to have a previously undisclosed ballistic missile site possessing launch sites oriented toward Israel and Iran, according to an analysis of satellite images from Jane’s Defence Weekly.
The site — believed to use Chinese DF-3 ballistic missiles acquired by Saudi Arabia in the 1980s — is about 125 miles southwest of the capital of Riyadh near the town of Al-Watah.
According to the report, one launch pad is oriented toward Israeli targets — including Tel Aviv — while a second pad is set to send missiles in the direction of Tehran. Read More