Congress Eyes New Measures Against Iran, North Korea

Growing Impatience With Obama's Diplomacy Efforts

Members of Congress are expressing growing impatience with the Obama Administration’s diplomatic efforts, and are looking to move unilaterally to impose harsh new sanctions against the governments of Iran and North Korea.

Though the Obama Administration has advocated additional international sanctions against both nations, the president has appeared reluctant to move unilaterally against either, and has sought to find diplomatic solutions to outstanding issues.

This week the House of Representatives moved to prevent loan guarantees for companies that sell refined petroleum to Iran. This appears to have been a first move toward one of AIPAC’s top legislative priorities, a bill that would enact harsh sanctions against all companies engaged in that business.

The House also condemned Iran last week for its crackdown in the wake of the contested elections. The 405-1 vote took no moves against Iran, but was seen by many as a tacit slap to the Obama Administration that was at the time struggling to remain out of the conflict.

As tensions rise with North Korea, Senate Republicans have also been pushing hard to re-add the nation to the official state sponsors of terrorism list. President Bush removed the designation last year as part of disarmament talks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.