Illegitimate Sanctions on Iran
Sanctions imposed are illegal.
by Stephen Lendman
Washington bears full responsibility for imposing illegitimate sanctions on Iran. Other countries are pressured to agree. Doing so harms their own interests.
Heavy-handed US bullying largely gets its way. Rule of law principles and norms are violated. At issue is advancing Washington's imperium.
America's 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) lets presidents claim unusual and/or extraordinary foreign threats, declare a national emergency, and regulate commerce accordingly.
Presidents have taken full advantage deceptively, unjustifiably, and illegally.
In November 1979, Washington seized $12 billion in Iranian government bank deposits, securities, gold, and other properties. They included $5.6 billion held by overseas branches of US banks.
A full trade embargo followed. In January 1981, it was lifted under provisions of the Algiers Accords. Most Iranian assets were unblocked. Nonetheless, Iranian Assets Control Regulations remained in effect.
For decades, Washington ruthlessly targeted Iran and its people. It continues relentlessly today. More on that below.
Ronald Reagan imposed Iranian sanctions. Fraudulent pretexts were used. They included claiming Tehran supports international terrorism and aggressively acts against Persian Gulf shipping.
Reagan's 1987 Executive Order (EO) 12613 embargoed Iranian goods and services.
In March 1995, Clinton's EO 12957 prohibited US involvement with Iranian oil development. His 1995 EO 12959 substantially tightened sanctions further. His 1997 EO 13059 prohibited virtually all trade and investments with Iran.
In 1996, the Iran and Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) became law. In 2006, it was renamed the Iran Sanctions Act (ISA).
It prohibited US and foreign oil development investments. Violators face stiff penalties. They include denial of Export-Import Bank of the United States help, rejection of export licenses, and a ban on all or some violating company imports.
In 2008, banks and other US depository institutions were prohibited from processing transfers between Iranian and non-Iranian banks.