The Security for a New Century Study Group was honored to host Mr.
Orde Kittrie, professor of Law at Arizona State University and senior
fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, for a
discussion of sanctions in Iran. His presentation focused on the
significance and feasibility of sanctions, the legal status of Iran’s
nuclear weapons program, and the implications for Congress.
The possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapons program raises
questions from both a security and an economic point of view,
especially regarding proliferation across the Middle East region.
Engaging Iran is likely to be more effective if it is accompanied by
some point of leverage, and the nuclear issue provides such a point
through sanctions. The international community has responded to these
concerns with UN Security Council resolutions, but Iran has not
complied. More action can be taken to ensure compliance advance
Internationally agreed upon sanctions tend to be more effective than
unilateral sanctions, so the United States can encourage such
cooperation using their diplomatic leverage with foreign companies who
currently supply gasoline to Iran. Ultimately, the United States and
the broader international community should seek to maintain the
parameters of the NPT and work toward preventing the spread of nuclear
weapons. Sanctions, if carried out properly, can be a useful tool in
This briefing is the tenth in an ongoing series on the US and Iran that Security for a New Century has developed in partnership with the US Institute of Peace.
The series aims to explore a wide range of political, economic, social
and cultural issues which influence US – Iranian relations.
Security for a New Century is a bipartisan study group for
Congress. We meet regularly with U.S. and international policy
professionals to discuss the post-Cold War and post-9/11 security
environment. All discussions are off-the-record. It is not an advocacy
venue. Please call (202) 223-5956 for more information.