US and International Sanctions
- Ever since the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran in the first months of the 1979 Revolution, Iran has been subject to myriad US-imposed sanctions.
- Later, as the Islamic Republic was linked to other acts of terrorism in the Middle East, and in response to its nuclear program, other international sanctions were imposed as well.
The effectiveness of sanctions is directly linked to how many countries honor them.
- With globalization, the world’s economic pie is being reapportioned, and there are increasingly alternative markets to which countries like Iran can turn. China and Russia are key among these; they have been Iran’s salvation in recent years, engaging in trade with Iran in oil, weapons, nuclear technology, and other commerce.
- A prominent thread in the story of sanctions has been the ebb and flow of European and Japanese compliance with US-led sanctions. While US-Iranian trade has slowed to a drip, the European Union has tended to enforce sanctions only in response to Iran’s human rights abuses and Iran’s nuclear program. Therefore countries such as France and Germany have resumed some types of trade with Iran at various points in the last decades, undermining the effect of US policies.
Next: Inside Iran - Economy: US Efforts to Tighten Sanctions