On October 10, the Center for Strategic and International Studies warned that sanctions and diplomatic isolation may not convince Iran to negotiate an agreement on its nuclear program. The United States and its allies may be facing years of “steadily escalating confrontation” over “sanctions, energy exports and arms control.” The following are excerpts from the executive summary, with a link to the full report at the end.
On October 15, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that “Iran is under more pressure than ever before” thanks to new E.U. sanctions on its financial, trade, energy and transport sectors. At a separate press briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland clarified that the United States “is not looking to hurt the Iranian people.” She said that the combination of sanctions and Tehran’s internal mismanagement have caused Iran’s economic crisis. The following are excerpts from their statements.
This action, which includes additional sanctions in the financial, trade, energy and transport sectors, as well as additional designations on entities in the oil and gas industry, further strengthens international efforts to pressure and isolate the Iranian government for its continued refusal to comply with its international obligations and fully cooperate with the IAEA.
As you know, rallying the world to isolate Iran and increase the pressure on its leadership so that they stop pursuing a nuclear weapon has been a top priority for the President since the day he took office. Thanks to that leadership, Iran is under more pressure than ever before. The Iranian government is responsible for the state of Iran’s economy and the isolation of the country. Iran’s leaders have made conscious choices about how they manage their economy, how they prioritize their budget and how they respond to the concerns of their people. The regime has chosen to spend money to pursue nuclear activities in violation of its international obligations, to support Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime, to enable terrorist acts around the world, and to undertake destabilizing activities around the region.
Iran knows the kind of concrete steps we are looking for to bring it back into full compliance with its international nuclear obligations, to address the proposal tabled by the P5-plus-1, and to cooperate fully and transparently with the International Atomic Energy Agency…
On October 15, the European Union targeted Iran’s nuclear program with new sanctions on its financial, energy, trade, and transport sectors. The E.U. Council condemned Tehran’s “continuing production of enriched uranium” and “flagrant violation of its international obligations.” European banks are now prohibited from dealing with Iranian banks, unless they receive permission to address humanitarian needs. The measures also ban the import of Iranian natural gas. E.U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said “there is room for negotiations” between Iran and the P5+1 and that she hopes to “make progress [on the nuclear issue] very soon.” The following points are from the E.U. Council statement announcing new punitive measures.
seriously and addressing the concerns of the international community."
On October 11, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released a report showing that Iran is the only Western/Central Asian country to make more heroin seizures every year since 2004. Over the last decade, Iran built extensive infrastructure on its 600 mile eastern border with Afghanistan and deployed additional security forces to stop trafficking. But the report concludes that smugglers are now abusing licit trade routes for opiate trafficking in the wider region. The following are key findings with a link to a full report at the end.
Misuse of maritime transportation
In recent years, drug traffickers have become increasingly reliant on maritime transportation to smuggle opiates from Iranian and Pakistani seaports to the global market. By abusing trade routes from Afghanistan, traffickers can smuggle opiates to the Iranian seaports at Bandar Abbas and Chabahar, as well as to the Pakistani seaports at Gwadar, Karachi and Port Qasim.
Click here for a full transcript of the debate.
The Islamists Are Coming
The Islamists Are Coming, edited by Robin Wright, surveys the rise of Islamist groups in the wake of the Arab Spring. Often lumped together, the more than 50 Islamist parties with millions of followers now constitute a whole new spectrum—separate from either militants or secular parties. They will shape the new order in the world’s most volatile region more than any other political bloc. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.
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