Iran has again refused to enter serious diplomatic negotiations with the international community regarding the West's heightened concerns that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons. As The Tower reported, meetings in both Vienna and Istanbul ended without progress or plans for another round of negotiations.
In the meantime, Iran is moving forward with its nuclear program and constantly improving its enrichment capabilities. Earlier this year, Tehran announced the intended production of 3,000 advanced centrifuges for installation in its Natanz enrichment facility.
The U.S., Congress continues to work on new Iran sanctions aimed at severely restricting segments of Iranian commerce, including oil. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is reviewing another bipartisan sanctions bill. Both the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations panels have hearings scheduled with senior Obama administration officials. The bill is widely expected to pass both chambers and reach President Obama's desk by the August recess.
About The Speaker
Mark Dubowitz is the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan policy institute, where he leads projects on sanctions, nonproliferation, and countering electronic repression. Mark is an expert on sanctions and has testified before Congress and advised the U.S. administration, Congress, and numerous foreign governments on Iran sanctions issues. Mark is the co-author of eight studies on economic sanctions against Iran. He also is co-chair of the Project on U.S. Middle East Nonproliferation Strategy, a nonpartisan project co-chaired by five nonproliferation and sanctions experts, which produced a 2013 report on U.S. Nonproliferation Strategy for the Changing Middle East. Mark has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Foreign Policy, and The Weekly Standard, and appeared on CBS Evening News, CNN, Fox News, NPR, PBS, BBC and CBC. Before joining FDD in 2003, Mark worked in venture capital, technology management and law. He has a masters in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and law and MBA degrees from the University of Toronto.