About 14 months ago, President Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran. As I remember, one of goals of the sanctions was to reduce Iran's influence in the Middle East by reducing its financial resources.

Are there any results we can see so far?

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    Downvoters, please, leave your comments.) Question not seems to be opinion-based.. Aug 8, 2019 at 12:18
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    I haven’t voted at all on this, but it does seem pretty speculative, since so much about this situation is in flux and uncertain. I don’t think anyone can say whether it’s more effective or not, since no one knows what’s going to happen yet. It might be more answerable if you focused on the first question and just asked what’s changed.
    – divibisan
    Aug 8, 2019 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


Any answer will be a bit speculative, because causation is very hard to prove.

Changes in Iran's security and foreign policy since Trump repealed the nuclear deal include the following points:

  • Iran restarted its nuclear military program, breaching a cap set in the nuclear Deal for the first time in July 2019 when it enriched uranium to 4.5%.

  • Tensions escalated sharply in the Hormuz straits with Iran catching several oil tankers, and allegedly attacking others (Iran denies the attacks though). It also shot a US drone which had or had not violated its air space depending on whom you ask. This is one among other drone incidents.

  • Chi'i militias, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Iraqi groups, and Iranian forces have long provided decisive support to maintain Syria's Bachar El-Assad in power and help him reconquer most of Syria since 2013. Since April 2019, however, these forces, that are widely considered as controlled by Tehran, have refrained from taking part in the attack on Idlib - as a consequence, and in spite of heavy bombing by their other ally, Russia, Syrian governmental forces have failed to make decisive progress so far.

  • In Yemen, where several rebel Houthi groups are said to be backed and armed by Iran (but probably not controlled by Tehran, or very loosely), some partial truces have been announced last winter but seldom respected.

Once again, how much of all of these possible shifts in Iran's foreign and defense policies have been motivated by the US sanctions is very subjective and I won't claim causation in either case.

  • Your first link does not show Iran has started a military nuclear program, but rather that it has started enriching Uranium to a higher level. I too was curious whether this necessarily means military use, and it turns out that that's not the case.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 17, 2021 at 20:20
  • @einpoklum : Interesting. The enrichment of uranium remains a violation of the (defunct) nuclear deal even if it was for civilian use. I wonder if the Iran government already used this argument in 2018-19 (needing enriched Uranium for medical reasons) or if it is a recent claim...
    – Evargalo
    Nov 18, 2021 at 9:20
  • No, it seems not to be a violation; there is specific language in the JCPOA allowing reduction of commitments if other parties don't uphold their end.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 18, 2021 at 10:12
  • @einpoklum : violation might be an imprecise term. What I mean is that it goes against the terms of the treaty, and it would have been a violation if the treaty still was in full appliance - if the USA had not retracted from it.
    – Evargalo
    Nov 18, 2021 at 10:16
  • Well, again, it seems Iran's behavior may not be contrary the terms of the JCPOA, regardless of formal USA withdrawal.
    – einpoklum
    Nov 18, 2021 at 11:48

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