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.

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