Category: News

House Votes to Extend Iran Sanctions in Bid to Ensure Nuclear Compliance

Congress renews its commitment to non-nuclear sanctions – how this will affect states’ sanctions that remain on the books is anybody’s guess.

EU ministers reaffirm Iran deal in face of Trump presidency

In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election triumph, world leaders grapple with the possibility of a major shift in U.S. policy vis-á-vis Iran.

OFAC Elaborates on Implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal

John E. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control at the U.S. Department of Treasury, gave a substantive address on the Iran sanctions at the Atlantic Council on June 16. Read more

Governor Abbott Rejects Obama Administration’s Request To Lift Iran Sanctions

The Texas governor responds to Mull’s letter, ignoring the encouragement of the administration to withdraw state-level sanctions. Read more

Does the Iran Deal Require the USG to Seek Preemption of (Some) State Sanctions?

Jack Goldsmith and Amira Mikhail agree with Kontorovich in that presidential preemption policies enshrined in the Court’s decision in American Insurance Association v. Garamendi likely do not apply in the case of the JCPOA and state sanctions, and that the Court’s ruling in Medellin further emphasizes this. However, they argue that federal preemption relying on

The Legality of State Sanctions on Iran

Michael Ramsey writes in support of Kontorovich, arguing that states are on “very strong ground” in fighting to keep their sanctions because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Medellin. Read more

How Cuomo can say ‘no’ to Obama on Iran sanctions

This New York Post op-ed capitalizes on Kontorovich’s argument to present a case for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to keep the state’s sanctions in place. Read more

Obama Administration Launches Campaign to Pressure All 50 States to Overturn Iran Sanctions

The Algemeiner reports on the April 2016 letter sent by State Department Iran coordinator Stephen Mull, encouraging states to back down on their sanctions in light of the JCPOA. Read more

How far will Obama’s ‘encouragement’ to states to drop Iran sanctions go?

Eugene Kontorovich argues that White House efforts to remove state sanctions beyond encouraging individual states to do so will likely fail, given the Supreme Court’s decision in Medellin v. Texas. Read more

Can States Prevent Release of Iran Sanctions through Federal Litigation?

Jerry Gordon examines the possibility of Congress taking legal action against the White House or, in a more likely scenario in his opinion, state governments suing the president themselves in response to the JCPOA. Read more

Let States Do the Job Obama Won’t: Sanction Iran

This August 2015 op-ed, written by Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, argues in favor of continued state efforts to sanction Iran. Read more

Brooks Leads Letter to Administration in Support of States’ Rights to Enforce Sanctions Against Iran

In September of 2015, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-Indiana) authored a letter to Secretary Kerry reiterating legislative support for state sanctions. The letter was signed by 61 representatives from 25 states. Read more

Could US State Sanctions on Iran Unravel Nuke Deal?

In this September 2015 article, Al-Monitor takes an in-depth look at the nature of state sanctions. Read more

New York, California Will Keep Iran Sanctions: Legislators

In the wake of Secretary Kerry’s House testimony, officials in New York and California publicly affirm that their sanctions against Iran will remain in place. Read more

Kerry Admits: States Can Keep Iran Sanctions

Breitbart News reports on Secretary Kerry’s July 2015 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in which he acknowledged that the JCPOA itself is not sufficient grounds to enforce the lifting of state sanctions. Read more

Deal or not, many U.S. states will keep sanctions grip on Iran

In this piece from April of 2015, Reuters reports on continuing state intransigency on removing their own sanctions, even in the face of the JCPOA. Read more

Obama Administration Urges States to Lift Sanctions on Iran

Eli Lake reports that the State Department’s Stephen Mull sent letters to governors requesting that they re-examine sanctions policies in light of implementation of the JCPOA. Read more

More Weak Arguments For the Illegality of the Iran Deal

Jack Goldsmith, Henry L. Shattuck Professor at Harvard Law School, responds to the arguments of Rivkin and Casey. He argues that the JCPOA neither contravenes the Constitution nor violates international law. Read more

The Lawless Underpinnings of the Iran Deal

David Rivkin, Jr. and Lee Casey make the case that the JCPOA is unconstitutional, the product of an end-run around the Constitution made without Senate consent. The authors, constitutional lawyers who served under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush in the Justice Department, encourage states to enact sanctions in order to undermine

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