In the earliest years of the 21st century, the Oil-For-Food Program (OFF) for Iraq demonstrated the weaknesses associated with using such methods to deal with tyrants like Saddam Hussein. And by the time of Hussein's capture and death, we knew the program had served not only to further enrich him, but also certain U.N. officials, and political figures in Russia, France, and elsewhere.
The problem: such programs create a subterfuge for those who can figure out how to abuse them, and they never fully apply to everyone (or every nation) equally from the start.
We're seeing this right now in Iran, where The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that Turkey has found a way around U.S. monetary sanctions against Iran by using gold instead of currency. Thus, in the past several months alone, "Turkey has given Iran 60 tons of gold" in exchange for crude oil. Instead of addressing the way Turkey has flaunted the sanctions, the Obama administration is providing Turkey a temporary waiver so they can continue such dealings with Iran.
What this ultimately means is that Iran isn't really going to have funding cut off anytime soon (the 60 tons of gold alone carries a value of $3 billion).
The Obama administration has found yet one more way to talk tough against tyrants like Ahmadinejad, while not really doing anything to starve the Iranian regime of income.