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Do Sanctions Work?

On the eve of renewed sanctions by Washington, Iranian protesters burn a dollar banknote and a US makeshift flag during a demonstration outside the former US embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

The U.S. has used sanctions to do everything from catching specific drug traffickers, to destabilizing government regimes. But sanctions are a blunt tool and they don't always achieve their goal. Moreover, they can miss the target and hurt the wrong people. Still, there are some steps a government can take to help ensure sanctions achieve their goals.

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