Iran Sanctions

April 15, 2019


Overview and Objectives 

Sanctions have been a significant component of U.S. Iran policy since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran, a U.S. ally. 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. After the mid-2000s, U.S. and international sanctions focused largely on ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program is for purely civilian uses. During 2010-2015, the international community cooperated closely with a U.S.-led and U.N.-authorized sanctions regime in pursuit of the goal of  persuading Iran to agree to limits to its nuclear program. 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. CRS has no way to independently corroborate whether any individual or other entity might be in violation of U.S. or international sanctions against Iran. The report tracks “implementation” of the various U.S. laws and Executive Orders as designations and imposition of sanctions. Some sanctions require the blocking of U.S.-based property of sanctioned entities. CRS has not obtained information from the executive branch indicating that such property has been blocked, and it is possible that sanctioned entities do not have any U.S. assets that could be blocked.

The sections below are grouped by function, in the chronological order in which these themes have emerged.


Read the full report below.