Congressional Research Service. April 5, 2013.
U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. In the 112th Congress, several legislative initiatives were introduced and several oversight hearings were held related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah in the region. The 113th Congress is already continuing its oversight of terrorism concerns in the Western Hemisphere, especially the activities of Iran and Hezbollah. The forthcoming State Department assessment of Iranian activities in the region and a strategy to address them, due to Congress by mid-2013, is likely to be the subject of congressional oversight.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/207769.pdf [PDF format, 36 pages].
Congressional Research Service. December 7, 2012.
The principal objective of international sanctions—to compel Iran to verifiably confine its nuclear program to purely peaceful uses—has not been achieved to date. However, a broad international coalition has imposed progressively strict sanctions on Iran’s oil export lifeline, adversely affecting Iran’s economy to the point where key Iran leaders are considering the need for a nuclear compromise.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/201984.pdf [PDF format, 88 pages].
Congressional Research Service. December 6, 2012.
Iran has long been a source of concern for the United States and other countries because its goals are at odds with core U.S. objectives in the Middle East. Although it is not certain that Iran has made the decision to develop a nuclear weapon, it is taking steps to drastically reduce the time needed to obtain nuclear weapons should a decision be made to do so. It is the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon mated to an effective missile delivery capability that is especially worrisome to most.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/201973.pdf [HTML format, 71 pages].
Council on Foreign Relations. October 17, 2012.
Most of the debate about how to address Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear-weapons capacity focuses on two options. The first is to rely on deterrence and live with an Iran that has a small nuclear arsenal or the ability to assemble one with little advance notice. The second is to launch a preventive military strike aimed at destroying critical parts of the Iranian program and setting back its progress by an estimated two or more years. But now a third option has emerged: negotiating a ceiling on the nuclear program that would not be too low for Iran’s government and not too high for the United States, Israel, and the rest of the world. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://www.cfr.org/iran/time-test-iran/p29300 [HTML format].
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. October 8, 2012.
Despite the public histrionics in the run-up to the U.N. General Assembly meetings, both White House and Israeli officials assert that the two sides behind the scenes have come closer together in their views in recent days. While there may not be exact agreement on what constitutes a “red line” — a sign of Iranian progress toward the development of nuclear weapons that would trigger military action — the military option being advocated by the Israelis is considerably more limited and lower risk than some of those that have been publicly debated. [Note: contains copyrighted material].