United States embargoes

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Countries sanctioned in some form by the US[when?]

As of 2014, there are several United States embargoes and sanctions in force by the United States against several countries and activities, the most notable of which are against countries the federal government of the United States considers State Sponsors of Terrorism.

Some sanctions imposed by the United States government are:

  • No arms-related exports[1]
  • Controls over dual-use exports
  • Restrictions on economic assistance
  • Financial restrictions
    • Requiring the United States to oppose loans by the World Bank and other international financial institutions.
    • Diplomatic immunity waived to allow families of terrorist victims to file for civil damages in U.S. courts.
    • Tax credits for companies and individuals denied for income earned in listed countries.
    • Duty-free goods exemption suspended for imports from those countries.
    • Authority to prohibit a U.S. citizen from engaging in financial transactions with the government on the list without a license from the U.S. government.
    • Prohibition of Defense Department contracts above $100,000 with companies controlled by countries on the list.[2]

Implementing agencies[edit]

Authorizing laws[edit]

Several laws delegate embargo power to the President:

Several laws specifically prohibit trade with certain countries..

Targeted parties[edit]

As of October 2014, the United States has sanctions against:[3]


Country Year introduced Article Summary
 Iran 1979 U.S. sanctions against Iran Near total economic embargo on all economic activities, including a ban on all Iranian imports, sanctions on Iranian financial institutions as well as restriction on the sale of aircraft and repair parts as well as arms embargoes. This policy began in 1979 as a response to the Iranian Revolution, but has been rapidly expanded over recent years due to the Iranian Nuclear Program On May 30, 2013, OFAC issued Iranian General License D, authorizing the exportation or reexportation, directly or indirectly, from the United States or by U.S. persons, wherever located, to persons in Iran of "certain services, software, and hardware incident to personal communications". General License D enumerates certain categories allowed to be exported to Iran. For scope and further details, see General License D and the Annex to General License D, available from OFAC's Iran Sanctions Resource Center at http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/pages/iran.aspx. Iran and the US have no diplomatic relations. Listed as state sponsor of terrorism.
 North Korea 1950 North Korea–United States relations Severe sanctions justified by accusations of human rights abuses by North Korea and the North Korean Nuclear Program. North Korea and the US have no diplomatic relations.
 Sudan 2002 Sudan–United States relations Sanctions due to criticism of Sudan's human Rights record as well as Sudanese support for the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait and accusations that Sudan has harbored Islamic Extremists has led to a series of economic sanctions. Listed as state sponsor of terrorism.
 Syria 1986 Syria–United States relations Reasons cited for sanctions include Syria's poor human rights record, the present Civil War, and being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.
 Burma 1997 Burma–United States relations The US government alleges that the Government of Myanmar (then ruled by a military junta) had committed large-scale repression of the democratic opposition in Burma and declared a national emergency with respect to the actions and policies of that government. Several subsequent Executive orders have been issued to modify the scope of and take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in E.O. 13047. In May 2012, the President and the Secretary of State announced that the United States would begin easing certain financial and investment sanctions on Myanmar in response to the historic reforms taking place there. Since July 2012, the U.S. Government has taken various actions in response to the reforms in Myanmar.


Country Description
 Belarus Certain persons the US government believes to be undermining democratic processes or institutions in Belarus (including President Alexander Lukashenko and other officials)
 Ivory Coast Certain persons the US government believes are contributing to the conflict in Ivory Coast
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Certain persons the US government believes are contributing to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
 Iraq Specific individuals and entities associated with the former Saddam Hussein regime, as well as parties the US government believes have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing acts of violence that threaten the peace or stability of Iraq or the Government of Iraq or undermine efforts to promote economic reconstruction and political reform in Iraq or make it more difficult for humanitarian workers to operate in Iraq.
 Lebanon Persons the US government believes undermine the sovereignty of Lebanon or its democratic processes and institutions
 Liberia The former Charles Taylor administration in Liberia; prohibits importation of any round log or timber product originating in Liberia
 Russia Persons believed to be responsible for the detention, abuse, and death of Sergei Magnitsky and other reported violations of human rights in Russia (see Magnitsky Act)
 Somalia Certain persons the US government believes are contributing to the conflict in Somalia

Persons who the US government alleges threaten international stabilisation in the Western Balkans and some states of the former Yugoslavia
 Yemen Persons who the US government claims threaten peace, security, or stability in Yemen
 Zimbabwe Persons the US government believes undermine democratic processes or institutions in Zimbabwe, including a number of Government Officials
( Crimea)
Persons the US government believes undermine the peace, security, stability, territorial integrity and the democratic processes and institutions of Ukraine. Also persons administering areas of Ukraine without central government consent, also a number of senior Russian Officials close to President Vladimir Putin.
 Central African Republic Persons the US government believes contribute to the conflict in the Central African Republic
 South Sudan Persons the US government alleges have contributed to the conflict in South Sudan or committed human rights abuses
Libya/ Libya Persons associated with Muammar Gaddafi's regime
 Venezuela Government officials linked to the 2014–15 Venezuelan protests and those who the US government alleges have committed human rights violations

There are also list-based sanctions related to countering terrorism, rough diamond trade controls (see Kimberley Process), counter narcotics, nuclear proliferation and transnational criminal organizations.[3]

Some countries listed are members of the World Trade Organization, but WTO rules allow trade restrictions for non-economic purposes.

Combined, the Treasury Department, the Commerce Department and the State Department list embargoes against 31 countries or territories: Afghanistan, Balkans,[4] Belarus, Myanmar (Burma), Central African Republic, China (PR), Côte d'Ivoire, Crimea Region of Ukraine, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Fiji, Haiti, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sri Lanka, North Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haidar, J.I., 2015."Sanctions and Exports Deflection: Evidence from Iran," Paris School of Economics, University of Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, Mimeo
  2. ^ "Chapter 3 - State Sponsors of Terrorism Overview". State.gov. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  3. ^ a b U.S. Treasury - Sanctions Program Summaries Links to overviews, details, and legal authorities for each party are given.
  4. ^ Office of Foreign Assets Control. U.S. Department of the Treasury http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Documents/balkans.txt. Retrieved 1 September 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ U.S. State Department http://www.pmddtc.state.gov/embargoed_countries/. Retrieved 1 September 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ "Sanctions Programs and Country Information". U.S. Treasury. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  7. ^ "Export Controlled or Embargoed Countries, Entities and Persons". Stanford University. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 

External links[edit]