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. 

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International Law: Self-Defense

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

Self-defense may never be invoked to justify an act of retaliation or revenge in response to an unlawful threat that is no longer ongoing or imminent. So was the U.S. right to point to self-defense in justifying a strike against Iran following the shootdown of a U.S. drone?

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