Catholic ethicists question US assassination of Iranian general

Gerard Powers, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, considered the ethics and debate surrounding the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a National Catholic Reporter article.

“Rather than a muscular unilateralism, what is needed is restraint, dialogue and a commitment to use US power and influence to promote cooperative security in the region.”

Originally published at on January 13, 2020.

Read the full article

America is in deep trouble

George A. Lopez, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, raises questions about US foreign policy towards Iran, and advocates that sanctions policy should be tied to intense diplomacy, in an op-ed published in The Hill.

“Seldom has there been a more critical time for Congress, the press, and the public to check such instincts and actions before they lead to continued military confrontations.”

Originally published at on January 9, 2020.

Read the full article

US imposes sanctions on Hezbollah officials accused of supporting Iran

George A. Lopez, professor of peace studies at the Keough School of Global Affairs, provided expert commentary on the Trump administration’s use of sanctions against Hezbollah officials in Lebanon in a New York Times article Tuesday.

According to the article, the administration imposed the sanctions as a move against supposed allies of the Iranian government. The use of economic sanctions for political leverage has been a trademark of U.S. foreign policy under Trump, Lopez said.

“The notion of simply listing people and freezing their accounts without evidence of their specific financial support to Iran or specific terrorist activities, that is a reach,” said Lopez, an expert in economic sanctions. “But it is consistent with the use — some would say misuse — of sanctions by this administration. The emphasis is less on direct causal linkage and more guilt by association.”

Originally published at on July 9, 2019.

Read the full article

US is already fighting a conflict with Iran–an economic war that is hurting the wrong people

Keough School Director of Policy Studies David Cortright condemned the United States’ economic war on Iran in an op-ed for The Conversation:

“Many are worried about the risk of war with Iran after the Trump administration leaked discussions of a troop deployment in response to claimed threats to U.S/ warships in the region.

And in recent days, the rhetoric has only gotten more heated, with President Donald Trump saying a war would be “the official end of Iran.” Iranian officials responded in kind.

But the truth is, the US has been fighting a war with Iran for decades — an economic war fought via sanctions that has intensified over the past year and has already been devastating to innocent civilians in the country.

Not only that, it’s also undermining long-accepted principles of international cooperation and diplomacy, a topic I’ve been researching for the past 25 years.”

Originally published at on May 23, 2019.

Read the full article

US sanctions won’t bury Iran. Negotiations are more effective, experts say

In a Forbes article, Keough School Hesburgh Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies George Lopez spoke on how United States sanctions on Iranian oil are threatening other economies.

In nations like Iraq, for example, Iranian oil is relied on heavily to generate electricity, the article said. Tightening economic sanctions could cripple the country’s public utilities, according to Lopez.

“The real issue for Iraq is its dependence on Iranian natural gas that includes some modest trade in oil,” said Lopez. “The exemption is critical for Baghdad given the continuing inability of the government to keep the electricity flowing. In places like Basra where there have been major anti-government demonstrations due to the incompetence of central government in providing basic public services, sanctions on Iran would take a further toll.”

Originally published at on April 28, 2019.

Read the full article