Sanctioning Iran: Anatomy of a Failed Policy

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Bloomsbury Academic, Jul 28, 2000 - Political Science - 436 pages

SANCTIONING IRAN examines the past, present and future of US sanctions policy against Iran. Sanctions have become an increasingly important plank in US foreign policy: according to Richard Cheney, former US Secretary of Defense, over 70 countries, and two-thirds of the world's population, now come under their influence. Hossein Alikhani details the process by which the noose has steadily tightened on US-Iran trade since the overthrow of the Shah and the hostage crisis of 1979-80. The sanctions have remained unilateral, and the inevitable effect has been that non-US companies - mainly Western European - have simply taken on the business the Americans were forced to give up. Washington's response to this was an attempt to impose, extraterritorially, US legislation on third-country 'sanction breakers'. But outcry from allies which the US could not afford to alienate made this approach untenable. Official US hostility to the regime in Tehran - nurtured in Washington by a vocal and powerful pro-Israel lobby - has made it difficult to soften the sanctions policy. But an increasing number of US observers now believe that the policy does nothing but exclude US business from a lucrative area of trade. SANCTIONING IRAN is both a detailed exposition of the legislation and a thorough critical analysis of the policy as a whole. It also comprehensively documents the important source materials and assesses the impact of sanctions on Iran. This is an essential guide for anyone, businessman, policy-maker or academic, seeking to understand the context and substance of the last 20 years in US-Iran relations.
"The book is clearly the best work on the U.S. Iran sanctions. Its masterful weaving of the historical, diplomatic, economic, military and technical aspects of the U.S. law, combined with its extensive annotations and review of the literature, and its analysis make it without equal in the field." - Bruce Zagaris, Adjunct Professor, Washington College of Law, American University, Fordham University and John Marshall School of Law.

This is the most authoritative treatment of US sanctions on Iran anywhere in the literature. Alikhani not only provides a serious analysis of the subject, but also the most comprehensive survey of the literature and the legislative history of US sanctions that I have seen. This is an essential reference work for anyone interested in the development of US policy toward Iran since the revolution. - Gary Sick, Columbia University

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About the author (2000)

Hossein Alikhani is the Director of the Centre for World Dialogue.

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