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Iran Sanctions under the Trump Administration
Iran Sanctions under the Trump Administration

Iran Sanctions under the Trump Administration

Since 1979, Iran has been subjected to a steady stream of sanctions. Under the Trump administration, their depth and breadth have dramatically increased in the U.S. campaign of "maximum pressure". This interactive infographic illustrates all the major unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran since 2017 by year, type and location.

Click here to access Crisis Group's interactive on U.S. sanctions imposed (or reimposed) on Iran since 2017.

U.S. Sanctions from 2017 to Today

President Trump ended U.S. participation in the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018, and promised to snap back U.S. nuclear sanctions, which were suspended in January 2016 after the agreement went into effect. Scores of international companies announced that they would end or suspend their operations in Iran even before U.S. sanctions were formally reimposed. These came in two major tranches: an initial set of non-oil sanctions on 7 August 2018, and a second more significant batch on 5 November 2018 against over 700 persons and entities, including around 300 new targets. 

Our interactive illustrates all the individuals and entities so far designated under the major unilateral U.S. sanctions imposed (or reimposed) on Iran since 2017 and breaks them down by year, type and location.

All Sanctions

All sanctions imposed on Iran under the Trump Administration categorised by year – 2017 in blue, 2018 in green and 2019 in red. 

Sanctions by Year

This graphic divides all sanctions imposed on Iran under the Trump Administration by year – 2017 in blue, 2018 in green and 2019 in red.

Sanctions Timeline

A timeline from February 2017 to July 2019, showing all sanctions imposed on Iran under the Trump Administration and the dates on which they were implemented.

Type of Designee

All sanctions imposed on Iran under the Trump Administration categorised by designee and year (2017 in blue, 2018 in green and 2019 in red). Designees include individuals (left), entities (2nd from left), and finally aircraft (2nd from right) and vessels (right) linked respectively to sanctioned Iranian airlines and shipping firms.

Kind of Sanctions

The following categories break down sanctions under the Trump administration according to whether they were new designations (left), designations reimposed after having been previously suspended (2nd from left), designations reimposed and designated under additional sanctions programs (“tags”[fn]The U.S. Department of the Treasury “tags” sanctions designation targets depending on the appropriate sanctions program(s). For example, the IRAN-HR tag refers to designees under Executive Order 13553 (2010) on human rights. Hide Footnote ) (2nd from right), or existing designations targeted under additional sanctions programs (right).

Nationality/Location

All sanctions imposed on Iran under the Trump administration categorised by whether they are an Iranian Individual/Iran-based Entity (left), or not (right), and the year the sanction was implemented (2017 in blue, 2018 in green, and 2019 in red).

Sanctions Program

All Iran sanctions under the Trump Administration categorised by “tags” – terrorism, human rights, WMD Proliferation and IRGC – and the year the sanction was implemented (2017 in blue, 2018 in green and 2019 in red).

Sanctions Map

A map showing the location of the entities (purple), individuals (orange), aircraft (green) and vessels (red) designated under the U.S. sanctions imposed (or reimposed) on Iran since 2017.

Since 2017, the Trump administration has continuously tightened the noose of sanctions on Iran, targeting more than 80 per cent of the country’s economy by mid-2019. There can be little doubt that this “maximum pressure” policy is inflicting considerable economic harm on Iran. Economic growth that followed the lifting of sanctions in 2016 has given way to an inflationary recession. The Iranian currency has lost two-thirds of its value, as oil exports have dropped by more than 80 per cent and will likely fall further still. Although food and medicine are exempt from sanctions, lack of access to the global financial system is giving rise to a humanitarian crisis. Some families have not been able to eat meat for months and are suffering from shortages of specialized medicine.

To date, however, there is no sign that either Iran’s regional policies are shifting, or that its leaders are willing to submit to the Trump administration’s demands. Nor is there any hint that economic hardship has triggered popular unrest of a magnitude that would threaten the regime’s survival. In the absence of any visible shift in Tehran’s political calculus, Washington is presenting the sanctions’ impact by no metric other than their quantity and severity.