Earlier this week the United States reimposed a wide range of sanctions on Iran following the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement.
Washington called on other powers to join it but also issued a threat, telling governments to choose: do business with US or Iran, not both. The response has been a nearly universal “no”.
Some of Washington’s closest allies have even promised legislation to protect their own companies against possible American reprisals.
We have been here before. In 1996 the Helms-Burton Act sought to force the rest of the world to adhere to Washington’s long-standing boycott of Cuba. A 1977 law penalised US companies honouring the Arab boycott of Israel.
And as recently as 2014, shortly before the nuclear deal was completed, France’s largest bank, BNP Paribas, agreed to pay the US Justice Department an eight-point-nine billion dollar fine for violating US sanctions related to Iran.
Can extraterritorial sanctions really work? If they don’t – as seems likely – what will that mean for America’s broader role in the world?
Presenter: Hoda Abdel-Hamid
Steven Rogers – Member of the Donald J Trump for President Advisory Board
Scott Lucas – University of Birmingham (UK)
Aniseh Bassiri-Tabrizi – Research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies
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