International Law Behind the Headlines

Tensions between Iran and the US have reached a critical level, culminating in senior-level discourse during last week’s UN General Assembly meetings in which the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other countries focused on allegations that Iran was responsible for a military drone strike on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. This is just the latest event in a quickly evolving military situation, with the Trump administration pulling the US out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and reinstating sanctions on Iran, and includes the US downing an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. In this episode, Catherine Amirfar sits down with Brian Egan, a partner at the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, a former senior legal official at the White House and the National Security Counsel, and the Legal Adviser at the Department of State in the Obama Administration. Brian discusses the historic moment of the tension between the two countries, as well as the international legal backdrop to the risk of a U.S. military confrontation with Iran. This backdrop includes in what potential circumstances the Trump administration could deploy military force as a matter of international law and what legal and political implications follow if the US does so.

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