KU News Service

Waiving Iran sanctions keeps U.S. in strong, security-enhancing deal for now, International law expert says

Fri, 01/12/2018

LAWRENCE — The White House announced today that President Trump will waive nuclear-related sanctions against Iran. The move will keep the nuclear deal in place but add sanctions on Iranian businesses and leaders who have supported terrorist groups. The president also gave European allies 120 days to rework the deal or said the United States would withdraw.

Trump has long criticized the deal but agreed with national security advisers to keep it in place. Raj Bhala, an international trade law expert who has studied sanctions, can discuss the announcement, its effects, the nuclear deal, Iran, the country’s economy, economic protests in Iran, the U.S.-Iran relationship and related topics.

Bhala, the Brenneisen Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas School of Law, said the announcement is important in that “it preserves the July 2015 Nuclear Deal, for now, which the other countries in the deal also support. There are about 400 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors in Iran, and they indicate Iran is complying with the deal. Staying in this deal, which is a strong one, is vital to enhancing America’s, and the world’s, security, and avoiding a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.”

Yet Trump is expected to decline to certify to Congress that the nuclear deal is in America’s best interest, as he did in October. Bhala can discuss why the president’s position is wrong as well as the requirements of the deal for the U.S., Iran and international allies.

Bhala has a global reputation in the scholarship of international trade law, have lectured around the world and has published dozens of books and journal articles including the leading textbook Modern GATT Law, “International Trade Law,” “Understanding Islamic Law (Shari’a)” and “TPP Objectively: Law, Economics, and National Security of History’s Largest, Longest Free Trade Agreement.” He practiced international banking law at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before entering academia and has worked in nearly 30 countries, including many Gulf and Arab countries, Turkey, Israel and throughout India.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or

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