( dpa )- A US Congress investigative agency said that two decades of US trade sanctions against Iran have had questionable impact and needed to be reviewed for their objectives and affect, according to a report posted late Wednesday.
The Government Accountability Office, which is the investigative and audit arm of congress, noted that despite various sanctions against Iran since 1987, Iran's overall trade with the world has grown.
" Iran's global trade ties and leading role in energy production make it difficult for the United States to isolate Iran and pressure it to reduce proliferation and support for terrorism," the report said.
Imports rose "sharply" after the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, and declined until 1995. Export growth has boomed after oil prices started rising in 2002, the GAO said.
"This trade included imports of weapons and nuclear technology," the report said.
In 2006, the United Nations instituted multilateral sanctions against Iran over its refusal to comply with international demands that it stop enriching uranium, a process that could provide weapons- grade fuel.
Iran insists it has no designs on making nuclear weapons and needs to enrich the fuel to supply the oil-rich country with electricity.
The report was requested by a subcommittee on national security and foreign affairs in the House of Representatives.