Iran

U.S. Department of State

Since the 1979 storming of the embassy and seizure of American diplomats in Tehran, the United States has imposed wave after wave of sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran. Over time, the sanctions have grown from Executive orders aimed at Iranian support for terrorism into a far more comprehensive congressional and international regime that focuses on Iran’s nuclear program. As negotiations over this program continue, legal analysis of non-proliferation agreements, sanctions law and the respective foreign policy powers of Congress and the President have become inextricably linked to the diplomatic initiative with the Islamic Republic. 

Latest in Iran

Iran

Parsing the State Department’s Letter on the Use of Force Against Iran

Recent tensions between the United States and Iran have led many members of Congress to speculate about what legal authority the Trump administration may claim it has to go to war without congressional authorization. On June 28, the State Department gave a partial answer to these questions, at least insofar as they relate to the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs).

International Law: Self-Defense

The Aborted Iran Strike: The Fine Line Between Necessity and Revenge

The president announced on June 21 that he had called off a potential U.S. military strike on Iran in response to Iran’s shootdown of a U.S. Navy remotely piloted vehicle (RPV). The strike, according to the president, could have incurred casualties of as high as 150 people—information that has sparked discussion over the proportionality of such a response under international law. Before jumping to this debate, however, there is another issue that needs to be considered first: the question of necessity.

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