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Financial sanctions are increasingly being used in the mix of international economic sanctions being employed by the United Nations, regional entities, and individual countries, including the United States. These financial sanctions have become more focused and effective as the tools and techniques have improved significantly for tracing and identifying the financial transactions of terrorists, weapons proliferators, human rights violators, drug cartels, and others. These sanctions can not only freeze financial assets and prohibit or limit financial transactions, but they also impede trade by making it difficult to pay for the export or import of goods and services.

In spite of this growing impact of financial sanctions, these sanctions are not well understood outside of a small group of experts. This article provides an introduction to the mechanics and operation of U.S. financial sanctions, and it illustrates their use against Iran.

Publication Citation

44 Geo. J. Int'l L. 903-913 (2013)