Empty and baseless, sanctions are punitive threats thrown about like playing cards from the U.N. at nations that commit grave offenses, such as North Korea and Iran.
Compared to a slap on the wrist, but less effective, sanctions are nothing more than United Nations PR "showing" the world that they are hard at work keeping baddies in line.
Not quite as powerful as the wag of the finger, sanctions have absolutely no effect on the country they are imposed upon.
North Korea, and Iran have multiple sanctions against them from the U.N. for crimes committed (ex. secret underground uranium enrichment plants)
However, these countries go about their day to day plotting because sanctions are USELESS.
Show some balls, World.