Sanctions, whether unilateral or multilateral, have been the United States' core policy on Iran since the 1979 revolution. President Barack Obama entered office confirming that he intended to pursue a policy of engagement with Tehran. During his tenure, however, the United States has orchestrated its harshest sanctions to date against Iran.
Sanctions have slowed Iran’s industrial and economic growth, considerably limited foreign investment and triggered national currency devaluation, hyperinflation, declining GDP and, last but not least, reduction of oil and gas production and export. Mahmoud Bahmani, governor of the Central Bank of Iran, described the seriousness of the effects of sanctions as "no less than a military war.” Even President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who once asserted that the sanctions were viewed as "the most ridiculous behavior," now admits that sanctions have taken their toll on Iran’s economy.