5 countries with the longest ongoing US sanctions

3. Iraq: Sanctions and Saddam's overthrow

Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, annexing it as a new province of Iraq before the US drove out Iraqi forces.

In the aftermath of that conflict, the UN Security Council required the regime to surrender its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and submit to UN inspections. Judging the regime to be defiant on these points, the UN Security Council imposed a series of economic sanctions. 

In response to the invasion of Kuwait, the United States imposed comprehensive sanctions on Iraq as well, freezing the government’s assets.  After its 2003 invasion, the US eased sanctions against Iraq, and today there are no far-reaching restrictions against Iraq, though certain embargoes and asset freezes on specific entities and individuals linked to the Hussein regime still exist, and “Iraq-related sanctions” remain on the US government sanction program list.

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