Notre Dame professors can offer expertise on Iran from Trump's tweets to oil security


Expert Pitch

We can easily arrange TV and radio interviews at Notre Dame’s on-campus studio.

Rosemary Kelanic is an expert on oil security and U.S. Grand Strategy.

She recently wrote “Why Iran’s ‘oil weapon’ isn’t that scary” for the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage.

“My research has found that countries tried to disrupt oil access to great powers only seven times in the past century. Five of those seven attempts failed outright to achieve their political goals.”

Eugene Gholz, an expert on the Strait of Hormuz, previously served as a senior advisor at the Pentagon. Regarding the spike in oil prices as a result of the recent attacks, he says, "Don't panic. Markets have successfully adjusted to military attacks on tankers before, and they can do it again. Consumers will be ok, and there’s no requirement for dramatic military action from the United States."

In his previous position at the University of Texas, he and his students put together this primer on the Strait of Hormuz that provides a lot of information about oil traffic and security issues.

Michael Desch is the director of Notre Dame International Security Center (NDISC) and has worked on the staff of a U.S. Senator, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the Department of State, and in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service. He is an expert on national security, American foreign policy and international relations.

In an interview with the Charles Koch Foundation, Desch said of Trump’s tweeting: “Yeah, he can’t restrain his mouth. To people in the restraint camp, or the realist camp, more generally, it’s a double-edged sword, because some of the things he talks about or seems to stand for is music to our ears. And then other things, like this preoccupation with Iran, has the potential of blowing up in our face. So it’s the best of times and the worst of times.”

George Lopez is an expert on economic sanctions, peacebuilding, security and human rights.

Lopez recently told Forbes: The Iranian command has long-endured sanctions. It thinks now it can wait out the Trump administration. The United States has “a naive policy that more sanctions produce more results, especially on a country which has lived with brutal sanctions for decades,” says Notre Dame’s Lopez. “And these sanctions have a high risk of complicating ongoing disputes and markets. What are the incentives for China or Turkey ... to stop buying Iranian oil? China is already angered by its trade war with the U.S.

David Cortright is an expert in nonviolent social change, nuclear disarmament, and the use of multilateral sanctions and incentives as tools of international peacemaking.

In his recent op-ed in The Conversation, he writes “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 US 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.”

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