Document Type : Article


1 Assistant Prof. in International Law, School of International Relations Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tehran, Iran

2 MA. in Diplomacy and International Organizations, School of International Relations Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tehran, Iran


Lawfare is a strategy of misusing law as a tool to achieve national and security interests which pursues the goals of an armed conflict without resorting to force. The lawfare actor misuses the existing gaps in international law to inflict the most damage to the targeted party, while there is no specific legal system to confront these actions. In lawfare, the rule of law is distorted. The complexities of lawfare have given the initiative to strong states that have appropriate legal infrastructures. In this way, the United States has been able to misuse this tool to put pressure on Iran and reach its hostile goals. The study of the US approach and practice towards the lawfare against Iran is the subject of this article. Recognizing the US practice in this regard shows that Iran has been the target of the most difficult lawfare that has been pursued through international institutions and also using domestic various strategies and initiatives.


  1. انگلیسی

    1. A) Books
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    1. B) Articles
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    1. C) Online Articles
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    17. Wright, Robin, "Stuart Levey’s War", The New York Times Magazine, 31 October 2008,


    1. D) Documents
    2. California Public Employee' Retirement System, Assembly Bill: 221, Chapter 671, 14 October 2007.
    3. California Public Contract, Assembly Bill No: 1650, Chapter 573, 30 September 2010.
    4. California Insurance, Assembly Bill No: 2160, Chapter 479, 23 September 2012.
    5. Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010 (CISADA), Pub. L. No. 111-195, 124 Stat. 1313.
    6. Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2010, Pub. L. No: 111.
    7. FATF Guidance: The Implementation of Financial Provisions of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to Counter the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. June 2013.
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    10. FATF Statement, 16 October 2008.
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    16. Sudan Accountability and Divestment Act of 2007, Public Law 110-174.
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    19. UNSCR 1803, 3 March 2008, S/RES/1803.
    20. UNSCR1929, 9 June 2010, S/RES/1929.
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    1. E) Websites
    2. Election Center 2008, "Transcript: Second McCain, Obama Debate", CNN Politics, 7 October 2008,
    3. The US Department of Justice, ING Bank N.V. Agrees to Forfeit $619 Million for Illegal Transactions with Cuban and Iranian Entities. 12 June 2012.
    4. US Department of Justice, HSBC Holdings Plc. and HSBC Bank USA N.A. Admit to Anti-Money Laundering and Sanctions Violations, Forfeit $1.256 Billion in Deferred Prosecution Agreement. 11 December 2012.
    5. U.S. Department of Justice, Justice Department Seeks Forfeiture of More than $20 Million in Assets Relating to Unlawful Use of U.S. Financial System to Evade and Violate Iranian Sanctions, 3 June 2020,
    6. U.S. Department of Justice, “Standard Chartered Bank Admits to Illegally Processing Transactions in Violation of Iranian Sanctions and Agrees to Pay More Than $1 Billion”, 9 April 2019,
    7. U.S. Department of State, Companies Reducing Energy-related Business with Iran, 30 September 2010.
    8. U.S. Department of State, State Sponsors of Terrorism, Bureau of Counterterrorism.
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    11. U.S. Department of the Treasury, “Treasury Sanctions Iran’s Central Bank and National Development Fund”, 20 September 2019,
    12. U.S. Department of the Treasury, Under Secretary Levey Remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. 20 September 2010.
    13. U.S. Department of the Treasury, U.S. Treasury Department Announces Joint $536 Million Settlement with Credit Suisse AG. 16 December 2009.
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    References in Persian:

    1. A) Books
    2. Joyner, Daniel H (2017), Iran’s Nuclear Program and International Law from Confrontation to Accord, Translation by: Seyed Hossein Sadat Meidani, Yaser Salarian, Mahdi Khalili Torghabe, Tehran: IPIS (In Persian).
    3. Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein & Khalili Torghabe, Mahdi (2018), Legal Principles of the United States Sanctions: Iran Sanctions, Tehran: S.D.I.L (In Persian).


    1. B) Articles
    2. Barzegar, Abdoreza & Rahmani, Tahmineh (2016), "Hearing to Claims arising from Public Procurement Contracts during the Sanction Period under Jurisdiction Law on the Jurisdiction of the Judiciary of IRI", Judicial Law Views Quarterly, Vol. 20, Issue. 72, pp. 25-64 (In Persian).
    3. Fazaeli, Mostafa & Kosary, Vahid (2021), "The Doctrine of “Lawfare” and the Future of International Law: Law as a Means of Peace or War?", Legal Research Quarterly, Vol. 24, Issue. 93, pp. 193-214, doi: 10.22034/JLR.2020.176120.1344 (In Persian).
    4. Karamzadeh, Siamak & Abedini, Abdollah (2019), "Margin of Appreciation in the Enforcement of the SC Sanction Resolutions: Case Study of Iran", Public Law Studies Quarterly, Vol. 49, Issue. 3, pp. 837-857, doi: 10.22059/JPLSQ.2019.270043.1864 (In Persian).
    5. Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein (2003), "The Legitimacy of the Use of Force against Iraq from the perspective of SC Resolutions", Journal of Defense Policy, Vol. 11, Issue. 43, pp. 1-20 (In Persian).
    6. Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein (2004), "Assessing the Function of US Domestic Courts in Attributing the Actions of Lebanese and Palestinian Groups to the IRI Iran", Legal Research, Issue. 4, pp. 13-17 (In Persian).
    7. Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein (2006). "SC and Iran’s Nuclear Case: Confrontation of the Rule of International Law with International Peace", Foreign Policy Quarterly, Vol. 20, Issue. 1, pp. 1-35 (In Persian).
    8. Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein (2016), "The IAEA Disputes over Iran's Nuclear Program in Light of International Law", ILR, Vol. 33, Issue. 54, pp. 219-256, doi: 10.22066/CILAMAG.2016.20726 (In Persian).
    9. Zamani, Seyed Ghasem & Sadat Meidani, Seyed Hossein (2006), "UN Security Council Practice in Iran's Nuclear Case: From Report to Sanction", Journal of Legal Research, Vol. 5, Issue. 10, pp. 15-54 (In Persian).