Iran Sanctions

October 13, 2017

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear
  • Missile

Author: 

Kenneth Katzman

Author's Title: 

Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs

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Overview and Objectives 

U.S. sanctions—and U.S. attempts to achieve imposition of multilateral and international sanctions on Iran—have been a significant component of U.S. Iran policy for several decades. In the 1980s and 1990s, U.S. sanctions were intended to try to compel Iran to cease supporting acts of terrorism and to limit Iran’s strategic power in the Middle East more generally. Since the mid- 2000s, U.S. sanctions have focused on ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is for purely civilian uses and, since 2010, the international community has cooperated with a U.S.-led and U.N.- authorized sanctions regime in pursuit of that goal. Still, sanctions against Iran have multiple objectives and address multiple perceived threats from Iran simultaneously.

This report analyzes U.S. and international sanctions against Iran and provides some examples, based on open sources, of companies and countries that conduct business with Iran. CRS has no way to independently corroborate any of the reporting on which these examples are based and no mandate to assess whether any firm or other entity is complying with U.S. or international sanctions against Iran. The sections below are grouped by function, in the chronological order in which these themes have emerged.

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