2013 was a banner year for the U.S. sanctions program against Iran. For the first time in recent history, not all of the big Iran news involved new restrictions and prohibitions. True, there were plenty of those, especially during the beginning of the year as the U.S. government implemented legislation passed in 2012. But the most noteworthy Iran development in 2013 – a tentative nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers – proved that diplomacy may be an alternative to ever-tightening sanctions. With that single development came the possibility, remote though it may still be, that Iran’s economy could someday reopen to international business.
Here, we look back at important developments of 2013 and contemplate what 2014 might hold for U.S. sanctions on Iran.