The White House. Office of the Press Secretary. November 23, 2013.
Addressing the nation from the State Dining Room tonight, President Obama said that the United States — together with close allies and partners — has taken an important first step toward a comprehensive solution that addresses concerns with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear program.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/11/23/president-obama-delivers-remarks-iran [Video format, 06:55].
Congressional Research Service. November 4, 2013.
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. To
implement U.S. policy, the Obama Administration has orchestrated broad international economic
pressure on Iran to try to compel it to verifiably demonstrate to the international community that
its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. Five rounds of multilateral talks with Iran in
2012 and 2013 yielded no breakthroughs but did explore a potential compromise under which
Iran might cease producing medium-enriched uranium (20% Uranium-235—a level not
technically far from weapons grade) in exchange for modest sanctions relief. International
sanctions have harmed Iran’s economy, and the June 14, 2013, first round election victory of a
relative moderate, Hassan Rouhani, appeared to reflect popular Iranian sentiment for a negotiated
nuclear settlement that produces an easing of international sanctions.
http://fpc.state.gov/documents/organization/217472.pdf [PDF format, 79 pages].
The Brookings Institution. October 2013.
For two decades, the United States has sought to end North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. Occasional success in freezing elements of that program, together with pledges by Pyongyang to end it, inspired hope that denuclearization could actually be achieved. Hope also grew from the belief that there existed a collection of incentives, including diplomatic normalization, security guarantees, and food assistance, which would convince Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions. These hopes have been dashed. U.S. policy has failed to achieve its objective. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Center for Strategic and International Studies. September 26, 2013.
Far too much of the analysis of Iran’s search for nuclear weapons treats it in terms of arms control or focuses on the potential threat to Israel. In reality, Iran’s mix of asymmetric warfare, conventional warfare, and conventionally armed missile forces have critical weaknesses that make Iran anything but the hegemon of the Gulf. Iran’s public focus on Israel also disguises the reality that its primary strategic focus is to deter and intimidate its Gulf neighbors and the United States – not Israel. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
http://csis.org/files/publication/130926_iran_military.pdf [PDF format, 108 pages].