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Earth Institute Research Projects

Collateral Damage: The Impact on Pakistan from US Sanctions Against Iran

Lead PI: Richard Nephew

Unit Affiliation: Center on Global Energy Policy (CGEP)

July 2017 - Ongoing
Active
Asia ; North America ; Middle East ; Iran ; Pakistan ; United States
Project Type: Research Outreach

DESCRIPTION: This report assesses the unintended consequences of sanctions and explores to what degree such consequences should be considered when formulating statecraft. Using the case of U.S. sanctions against Iran--which were first imposed in 1996 in the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) and followed up by the comprehensive embargo against Iran erected by President Clinton--the author examines whether these sanctions had a discernible, deleterious impact on Pakistan and its energy firms, as a result of a diminished Iranian natural gas sector.

The author concludes that Pakistan was harmed by the imposition of sanctions against Iran, but that it is impossible to ascertain how much the effectiveness of the sanctions regime would have been impaired in their absence. Based on his analysis, he offers three over-arching recommendations for policymakers considering the use of sanctions.