Iran Iran so far away…
Iran used to be Persia • Until 1935 • Became an Islamic Republic in 1979
Facts: • Capital: Tehran • Government: Theocratic Republic • A religious leader (for life) • A democratic leader (elected for a max of 8 years) • Law: Sharia • Muslim holy law • Almost all facets of life accounted for
From the CIA: • Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US, UN, and EU economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement in terrorism and its nuclear weapons ambitions.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei • Iran’s supreme leader since 1989, is the country’s true authority, with final say over all matters of state and faith.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad • President since 2005 • divisive figure in world affairs • cheering on the development of the country’s nuclear program despite orders from the United Nations to halt it • calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map’ • calling the Holocaust “a myth.” • Looks like Gylenhall.
The Trouble • US and Europeans believe Iran is looking to develop nuclear weapons • Iran is saying it only wants nuclear power for electricity so they can sell all their oil • Since November 2011, things have escalated • International groups report evidence of secret nuclear weapon program ramping up production
What Iran claims • They just want to make peaceful nuclear power and prefer engagement • How we respond: • Their actions don’t match their words
Israel • We think Iran is far away from weapons • Israel disagrees • Tensions with Israel and Iran have been mounting • Israel might attack Iran without any support
For Israel to attack Iran… • its pilots would have to fly more than 1,000 miles across unfriendly airspace, refuel in the air en route, fight off Iran’s air defenses, attack multiple underground sites simultaneously — and use at least 100 planes. • The Washington Post reported that Defense SecretaryLeon E. Panetta believed there was a “strong likelihood” that Israel would strike Iran in April, May or June.
Why is Iran so important? • This is one of the world’s most volatile regions • They have many enemies and allies • They have control over oil in a rough economy
What can be done? • Economic sanctions • Europe and US hurt them economically to weaken government • Goal: to get Iran to freeze it’s uranium enrichment program • Iran fights back • Will not let oil out of the Straight of Hormuz • Negotiate • Just this month, global powers agreed to negotiate
Take the military offensive • Washington and its allies are also encouraged by the effect of the fourth round of sanctions against Iran, and their official position is still engagement and negotiations first. • An attack may not be imminent, but the option is not off the table. The leaked cables show many U.S. allies are convinced Iran is going after nuclear bombs and the only way to stop it is by force.
Ho boy… • Iran responds to sanctions • Attacks on Israel thought linked to Iran • Threaten to stop selling oil to six European nations • They’re desperate
References • https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html • http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/iran/nuclear_program/index.html • http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/03/22/449740/robert-gates-attacking-iran-would-be-a-catastrophe/?mobile=nc • http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/20/world/middleeast/united-states-war-game-sees-dire-results-of-an-israeli-attack-on-iran.html • http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/29/five-takeaways-from-leaked-documents-on-iran/?hpt=T2