In this paper, the author argues that the pressure imposed by sanctions did not trigger a change in policy but instead changed only the Iranian government’s strategy. Sanctions have not only been ineffective and harmed the Iranian population and the economy; they have also been counterproductive for interests of the sanctioning state.
The case of Iran is insightful in examining their costs and benefits, both for the comprehensiveness of the sanction regime and the exceptional resilience of the target state. Taking as a starting point the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the current negotiations over a comprehensive nuclear deal, the aim of this paper is to reconsider the outcome of sanctions and to assess the extent to which the current opening can be considered a direct achievement. Sanctions are typically intended to isolate the target country and put its economy under enough pressure to force its government to change its policy.Download PDF