Why the US-Imposed Sanctions on Iran are Detrimental to Both Countries

History has shown us that the United States has often relied on imposing economic sanctions on a country to weaken their power. It’s one of America’s go-to strategies any time they butt heads with another nation. Take Iran, for example: the first set of sanctions inflicted on Iran happened in 1979 after the Tehran embassy hostage crisis. The U.S. froze $12 million in Iranian assets, hurting their economy immensely. Later on, in 1987 under Reagan’s presidency, Iran was once again sanctioned for going against the U.S. and for accusations of “supporting terrorism.” Over and over again, Iran has been sanctioned by the United States for a number of reasons: refusing to comply with uranium enrichment programs, supporting organizations that the U.S. dislikes, etc.

             Since 1979, the West has often butted heads with Iran’s domestic and foreign policies; the U.S. and other nations have feared Iran’s uranium enrichment program for decades, convinced that their program is intended for developing nuclear weapons. Because of this, the U.S. has often led international efforts to sanction Iran because of their policies–even going as far as to threaten other nations with sanctions for potentially supporting Iran.

It’s important to note that these sanctions have taken a serious toll on Iran’s economy and its citizens. Many Iranians are left unable to afford medicine due to shortages, and doctors often have to use old medical equipment. Iranian officials have continuously stated that their nuclear program is for “civilian purposes, including generating electricity and medical purposes” (Nichols).

In conclusion, these sanctions are meant to harm the Iranian government, but instead they only hurt the innocent Iranian civilians. The Trump presidency has dismissed the efforts of the Obama era that paved the path towards a possible alliance between the United States and Iran. The current administration has only caused strain on diplomatic ties between the two nations by imposing even more harmful sanctions and forcing other nations to follow suit. A war could break out between the two countries due to their rocky relationship in the past, and the sanctions imposed by the current American government has only pushed towards that option. Tensions are escalating and both countries are in harm’s way. Right now, it’s unlikely to predict how U.S. and Iran relations will be in the future, but it’s safe to assume that these sanctions are not only hurting Iran; they’re harming the United States as well.