Are US sanctions realigning global alliances?

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Earlier this week, the United States reimposed a wide range of sanctions on Iran following President Donald Trump’s administration 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 America, 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 US reprisals.

However, this has happened 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 $8.9bn fine for violating US sanctions related to Iran.

Can extraterritorial sanctions really work? And if they don’t what will that mean for the US’ broader role in the world?

Presenter: Hoda Abdel-Hamid

Guests:

Steven Rogers – a member of the Donald J Trump for President Advisory Board

Scott Lucas – professor at the University of Birmingham

Aniseh Bassiri-Tabrizi – research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies

Source: Al Jazeera News

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