On July 14, the United States, along with the P5+1, struck a deal with Iran to ease the heavy financial and banking sanctions that starved the country’s economy. Over the next decade, financial and trade sanctions will gradually be lifted, giving Iran the ability to export its plentiful oil and gas reserves and to purchase goods from abroad.
While Iran has been in the headlines, the gradual buildup of sanctions—especially financial sanctions—as a foreign policy tool since the turn of the millennium has not been widely recognized.
Some sanctions, like those against Russia and Venezuela, have been imposed within the last year. Others, like Cuba and Burma, go back decades. The causes behind the decision to impose sanctions are as varied as corruption (Venezuela), genocide (Sudan), terrorism (Lebanon), and political repression (Belarus).
According to the US Treasury Department, the United States has financial sanctions in at least fifteen countries, across four continents. This chart shows nations where the United States continues to have financial sanctions in place.