Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

International Affairs

The self-limiting success of Iran sanctions

Ray Takeyh and Suzanne Maloney, November 2011

Economic penalties rarely cause states to abandon important national assets. After decades of struggling under punitive financial measures, Iran has persisted with its objectionable policies ranging from terrorism to proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. All this suggests that ideological regimes that put a premium on their political priorities and which are seemingly insensitive to the mounting costs of their belligerence may not be suitable candidates for the type of cost-benefit analysis that sanctions diplomacy invites.

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