What Courts Have to Say About a Nuclear Iran
18 Pages Posted: 17 May 2015
Date Written: May 16, 2015
This article aims to contribute a judicial perspective to the national conversation about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Methodologically, this article approaches the proposed nuclear framework agreement with Iran through the prism of judicial opinions involving claims against that regime under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (“AEDA”) amendment to the Federal Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”). Based on a data set consisting of Iranian terrorism and skyjacking cases specifically, this article submits that legal precedent — not political talking points — mitigates against the deal being brokered with Iran now. These court decisions — as with judicial opinions generally — are probative in ways that politicized statements by the president and Congress about Iran cannot be. FSIA and AEDA cases are not talking points to be fact-checked, but fact-centered analyses arising from allegations that have overcome important hurdles such as substantive and procedural due process and rigorous tests under the rules of evidence, including admissibility and reliability. In this context, skyjacking cases show Iran to be a persistent driver of international disorder and offer no factual or legal precedent to suggest a nuclear capable Iran will change its behavior.
Keywords: Iran, Nuclear Framework, FSIA, AEDA, hijacking, terrorism, air piracy
JEL Classification: F13, H56, H77, K10, K19, K3, K30, K33, L93, L98, N4, N45, N40, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation