By Lili Bayer
Summary Western governments often use sanctions as a tool to persuade other governments to change their policies. Nevertheless, it is often the evolution of competing interests, rather than the economic pressure of sanctions, that informs the decisions of political leaders. Sanctions and economic pressure are merely tactics states use to pursue their goals, and as realities change governments often opt to shift tactics.
While Western governments have over the years imposed sanctions on both Russia and Iran, the two sanctions regimes differed significantly in design, scope and ultimately impact. Sanctions on Russia were designed to demonstrate that the West disapproves of the annexation of Crimea and fighting in eastern Ukraine without fully alienating the Russian regime, thus allowing for continued cooperation on issues ranging from arms control to Syria. In Iran, the sanctions regime was designed to isolate the country and push the regime into a corner. But as Wes