Envoy: US Will Keep Looking to Do More Iran Sanctions

US sanctions already cover well over 80% of Iran's economy

US Disarmament Ambassador Robert Woods announced today that the US will continue its campaign against Iran, and will continue to look for ways to impose new sanctions against them. This announcement came a day after the US sanctioned the Iranian Supreme Leader and a handful of other individuals.

Future sanctions are going to be no small challenge for the US, as sanctions have hit so much of the Iranian economy already that there just isn’t much left to conceivably go after. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bragged over the weekend that “some 80-plus percent of the Iranian economy is sanctioned.”

That is why a lot of sanctions announced recently target individuals of note, and not industries. Other than very specific parts of Iran’s economy, like basic food and medicine, cannot under US law be directly sanctioned, and anything that can be sanctioned was long ago.

But even there, it’s tough to argue that anything really escapes US sanctions as it is, because US banking sanctions are so absolute that they scare off foreign companies from perfectly legal transactions, fearing the US will punish them.

The World Court has even hit the US for not ensuring that their sanctions aren’t blocking humanitarian aid into Iran. This too is a subject that has been a big deal in recent years, with US sanctions blocking certain aid during recent flooding.

But sanctions that are conceivably offerable are virtually useless since the US and Iran already aren’t doing business. Officials underscored that mocking sanctions against the Supreme Leader, noting he never travels to the US in the first place, and has no assets in the US.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.