As of May 8, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order to emplace sanctions on Iran’s oil, steel, aluminum and copper sections. These resources account for the largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue for the Iranian economy. These resources account for nearly 10% of its export economy. The United States has also alerted other nations that the importation of these materials into their ports will no longer be acceptable. Under the Iran Nuclear Deal, the nation was given the freedom to sponsor terrorist networks, instigate regional conflicts, detain U.S. citizens and most importantly, develop its missile forces and nuclear weapons archive all while brutalizing its own people in the process. Having already ceased American participation in this deal, President Trump has imposed these sanctions in the hope that they will increase pressures on Iran to stop participating in such activities. So far, it has proven successful by cutting the funds available to Iran to continue its sponsorship of violent terrorism and sending the Iranian economy into a depression. Through these actions and future sanctions, the United States will be able to strengthen its national security. As it stands now for Iran, the only way in which to save its economy is to alter its conduct and adhere to the proposed U.S. agreement.
These imposed sanctions prove to be a representation of an effective way to use economic pressure in achieving an end goal. Through these coercive economic sanctions, the United States can force a foreign government to do something they don’t want to do. In this case, the United States is forcing Iran to stop its funding of terrorist groups and the development of its nuclear weapons arsenal and missile forces. This is also a good example of “smart sanction.” The concept behind these sanctions is the idea that they target the leaders and influencers of the country without harming the civilians. While these sanctions maybe sending the Iranian economy into a depression, they are solely aimed at those who are taking part in these activities. No civilians have been directly harmed in the process. These sanctions have also proven to be successful for the fact that they were used at an appropriate time. When deciding to implement these sanctions, leaders must look at four different criteria. The first is if there is money at stake. For Iran, these materials are crucial in their foreign trade and comprise most of its economy, and therefore makes economic sanctions ideal for the United States. Secondly, will these sanctions apply enough pressure to change the country’s policies? Again, given that these materials are vital to Iran’s economic stability, it is in Iran’s best interests to change its ways. Third, does the United States have the determination to maintain these sanctions? This strategy allows the United States to become involved military and President Trump has shown no signs of backing down. He has even made it clear to other nations that importing these materials is not acceptable. Finally, does the target have a feasible way out of these sanctions? Only the future will tell of Iran’s alternative options but with a diminishing economy, there are not many options available to Iran. It will be interesting to see in the coming months if these sanctions will force Iran into committing to future agreements with the United States.