The President’s Authority to Take Certain Actions Relating to Communications from Iran

Headnotes: 

The President has statutory and constitutional authority, subject to First Amendment limitations, to limit or embargo altogether video or audio communications from Iran which aggravate the present crisis, either unilaterally or in compliance with United Nations Security Council sanctions.

The First Amendment requires that any action taken to limit communications from Iran be narrowly tailored and sweep no more broadly than the underlying justification requires.  A restriction that severs all communications links with Iran would be subject to less exacting First Amendment scrutiny than a more limited restriction based in whole or in part on the contents of the communication.

 

Updated July 9, 2014