Foreign Affairs
Iran-US Ties: Why US sanctions against Iran?

The United States imposed sanctions against Iran for ten years, barring the country from complying with international rules on terrorism or nuclear energy. By early 2012, however, evidence was mounting that Iran was being hurt by the US and its global allies.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action took effect in 2015, easing tensions and restrictions. The US imposed several sanctions against Iran in 2016.

Officials have cut off Iran’s oil exports, which account for 85 per cent of the country’s export revenue. Iran has repeatedly signalled the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, a sophisticated oil conduit, at one point in what Iran has signalled as a kick in global oil consumption to put pressure on its oil industry.

Carter Years

Islamic extremists seized 52 Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held them in the Wages Office for 494 days beginning in November 1971. US President Jimmy Carter failed to free them, even authorizing a military rescue effort. On January 20, 1981, only Ronald Reagan, as President as Carter, did not liberate the Iranians from the hostels.

In 1980, the United Nations severed diplomatic relations with Iran amid the crisis. During this time the US also passed its first passport against Iran. Carter imposed an embargo on Iranian oil imports, froze $12 billion in Iranian assets in the U.S., and later froze all U.S. trade and travel to Iran in the 1980s.

Sentencing under Reagan

The Reagan administration declared Iran a state sponsor of terrorism in 1983 as a protest against its international debt.

When Iran began threatening traffic through the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz in 1987, Reagan authorized naval escorts for civilian ships and signed a new ban on Iranian imports.

The United States also announced the sale of “dual use” items to Iran – civilian goods with the potential for military adaptation.

The Clinton Years

President Bill Clinton extended US sanctions against Iran in 1995. Iran was still labelled a state sponsor of terrorism and President Clinton was seeking weapons of mass destruction because of the campaign’s great fear. He prohibited all US involvement with the Iranian petroleum industry. He banned all US investment in Iran in 1997, as well as limited US trade with the country. Clinton encouraged other countries to do the same.

George W. Banned under Bush

The United States, under President George W. Bush, has repeatedly come down on individuals, groups, or businesses that support people who sponsor terrorism, as well as those who support Iran’s assistance in destabilizing Iraq. The US also protects the assets of foreign entities that support Iran in those areas.

The United States also banned financial transfers to “U-More” involving Iran. According to the US Treasury Department, U-traffic traffic includes Iran but “originates and terminates with non-Iranian foreign banking.”

Obama’s Iran Revolution

President Barack Obama has struggled with Iranian sanctions.

In 2010, he imposed an embargo on the importation of Iranian foodstuffs and carpets, and Congress authorized him to link Iran with the Comprehensive Iran Relations, Accountability, and Internal Affairs Act (CISADA). Obama could encourage non-US petroleum firms to stop selling gasoline to Iran, which has malfunctioning refineries. It imports about one-third of its gasoline.

The Obama administration approved Venezuela’s nationalized oil company to do business with Iran in May 2011. Venezuela and Iran are close allies. Iranian President Mohammad Ahmadinejad banned a trip to Venezuela in early January 2012 to meet with President Hugo Chavez.

In June 2011, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (already designated in other sanctions), the Basij Resistance Force, and Iranian law enforcement agencies.

Obama signed into law a 2011 international security measure that allows the U.S. to enter into agreements with financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank. The bill’s ban was in effect between February and June 2012. Obama was given the power to stop the bill’s initiatives if they hurt the US economy. It was feared that Iran’s limited access to oil would drive up gasoline prices.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

In 2013, World War 6 joined the strategic empire to negotiate with Iran, offering some sanctions relief while Iran ended its nuclear program. Russia, Britain, Germany, France and China joined the US in the effort, which eventually reached an agreement in 2015. Then came the “prisoner swap” in 2016, in which the U.S. released five Iranians in exchange for five Americans. was catching The US imposed its sanctions against Iran in 2016 under President Obama.

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