Defending the Legality of the JCPOA’s Foreign Sub Provision

It seems every week brings a new controversy over the U.S.-Iran nuclear accord.

Last week, Fox News reported that certain administration lawyers had concluded that the provision of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (“JCPOA”), agreed to by the U.S., other major world powers, and Iran in July, allowing for foreign subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies to engage in certain dealings with Iran violated current federal law – namely, § 218 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act (“TRA”), which closed the loophole for foreign subsidiaries by explicitly prohibiting such foreign subsidiaries from engaging in transactions with Iran.


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