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Would an attack on Iran be legal?

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posted on May, 9 2006 @ 11:45 PM
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Would an attack on Iran be legal?

Thought this article was very interesting because it raised the question on whether or not a pre-emtive attack on Iran would be legal under international law.

According to the article the author states that the U.S. would first have to declare the visible threat as they are probably going to declare self defense or protecting the interest of the U.S. Right now they are obviously going to pin the threat to Iran's nuclear enrichment program.

Under article 51 it states:



"Nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security."

So "if an armed attack occurs", the US would say that international law does not require that an attack is actually taking place, and that its own new doctrine of pre-emption, an extension of the self-defence principle, was being implemented.

But basically the international community states that there has to an 'imminent' threat before one can act under those conditions. The only question that is what the definition of 'imminent' is.

Most currently think that at this point in time there is no viable threat directed towards the U.S. And since we have not caught the Iranians making a nuclear weapons or enriching uranium to weapons grade material we wouldn't have a legal stance in attacking Iran.

The only loop hole is if there is found a direct threat towards Isreal and they ask for help.

Otherwise an attack on Iran is going to be nearly impossible to sell as the U.S. isn't exactly favored by most at this point.




posted on May, 9 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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Of course it's not "legal", but since when has the U.S. ever followed "laws".



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:08 AM
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The real question is the U.S. is going to be able to get away w/ attacking Iran w/ out going against the grain of the world. I'm not saying we will or will not attack them, but if we do a lot is going to hit the fan.

[edit on 5/10/2006 by Nathabeanz]



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:15 AM
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Unforunately, we live in a world where the USA can decide wether its actions are legal or not.

I mean really, who is going to stand up and say NO, what your doing is WRONG. and we WONT let you do it.

Somewhere between 1945, and 2001 there was a major change in the way the world used power.

Ultimately, it was the day the most powerful nation in the world gained a president elect... that wasnt elected.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 06:19 AM
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the US is above the International laws as bush said in one of his speaches before the IRAQ war



the united states doesn't need anyone's permission to act.


something like that



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 06:55 AM
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Have any college buddies in the UK or elsewhere studying or have studied international relations, bodrul?

Let me enlighten you and some others here on something in relation to international law and state sovereignty:

The interests of a state trumps international law. In other words, a state only adheres to international law as long as it is beneficial to do so, so long as it is within the best interests of the state, because once the interests of the state become paramount, international law can be interpreted or ignored by the state. Therefore, the only thing that matters is what is in the best interest of the state, for the state and its sovereignty will always trump international law.

This is not restricted to the U.S. This is simply an understood fact, one which history has validated and recorded since the dawn of nation states.







seekerof



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 08:30 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
The interests of a state trumps international law.


You betchya. AND the UN isn't exactly an impartial group
now is it?? There is no way on this planet that America
should hand it's security over to the UN. We would
disappear.

The UN security council is completely corrupt. Syria is
on it for crying out loud.
They voted AGAINST
liberating Iraqis because Saddam was paying them
off (France, Germany, Russia) and they had their hands
in the Oil for Food cookie jar.

Yep .. I'm going to hand my country's security over to
those foreigners and criminals. NOT!!



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 10:08 AM
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Tone it down, flyers. The oil for food scandal was bad, yes, but the fact that the sanctions were achieving nothing but the destruction of Iraq's middle class was on a par. By the way, Syria is a temporary member of the UN Security Council, not a permanent member. The UN did not vote against liberating Iraq, it voted against looking for WMDs that did not actually exist.
As for Iran - if the US goes in, it will do it alone. There is no way that any allies will join it. The UK certainly won't - it took a major leap of faith for Blair to follow Bush into Iraq and as a result he's going to get the black spot soon and get pushed out of office. His political credibility is shot.
As for legality... tricky. Any lawyers here? Put your hands up! (Tries to hide large gun behind back)



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 11:35 AM
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Article 51, UN Charter
Nothing in the present charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.


The blockage is the armed attack clause. Iran hasn't attacked the US or its interests.


Excluding its funding of terrorist organizations that have attacked the US and its interests around the world.


from the article

She did not think the conditions for a self-defence argument existed. "Does enrichment of uranium count as a threat?" she asked. "It has not been weaponised. Is there a threat?"


There is nothing in the charter that says that the "Senior Fellow in International Law at the British think tank Chatham House" is the one who determines what is and is not a threat for a sovereign nation.
The US is the one that gets to decide if there is a threat or not, not the UN, NGOs, or pundits.

If the UN disagrees, well then it will just have to send in its UN Army to stop the US. Oh, wait.



[edit on 10-5-2006 by Nygdan]



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:32 PM
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As for oil for food... hah! As if the US didn't have a role to play in that as well..


The US follows the UN line when it suits it. Seekerof is correct.

But while we're all arguing against the relevance of international law as regards invading Iran, we should probably be asking, would it not be in the US's interests to follow international law in this instance? I think we've assumed it hasn't.

Self-defense actions under Article 51 must generally be necessary and proportionate to the threat. Arguably, even if the US found an attack necessary (which is hard to see how they could, given that Iran hasn't done anything directly, as Nygdan said), any response would have to be an Osirak type of affair, far removed from what we've seen in Iraq. But of course, such a response could see millions of Iranian troops pouring into Iraq in response, so....



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:43 PM
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The US isn't going to just hit the plants that they know about and call it a day. Iran would, prefectly correctly, see that as an act of war, sue through the UN, launch missiles at Israel and invade Iraq. They'd respond to war with war. In order for the US plan to be successful, it has to invade, destroy, and occupy Iran, to get control of the plants, to destroy the military, and to attempt to shoot down any missiles launched into Iraq and Israel.

The yehudis could afford to just hit the iraqi nuke plant because Hussein wasn't going to go to war with them over it. The people running Iran seem to have steeled themselves for warfare, possibly, to many of them, Messianic warfare.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
The interests of a state trumps international law. In other words, a state only adheres to international law as long as it is beneficial to do so, so long as it is within the best interests of the state, because once the interests of the state become paramount, international law can be interpreted or ignored by the state. Therefore, the only thing that matters is what is in the best interest of the state, for the state and its sovereignty will always trump international law.


And that is the unfortunate truth. The United Nations is worthless. Because even if the U.S. attacks Iran on the basis of self defense against the will of the united nations there will be no reprucutions to the U.S other then costing the american tax payers billions of dollars. So how long before the Empire of America falls.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 12:35 AM
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Was it "legal" when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor? Was it "legal" when Germany attacked Poland, The Netherlands, France, Belgium, England and the rest of Europe? Was it "legal" when the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan? I could go on and on. Throughout history, from the earliest times, one group or nation has attacked another. "Legality" has never stopped a determined force from attacking another.

Since when did "legality" have anything to do with war?

War itself is ,or should be, illegal. Unfortunately, simply making war illegal will never stop anyone, any nation, from attacking another if it is in the self-interest of the aggressor. Legalities are little justifications for war in itself. I point to the Nuremberg War Crimes trials when the Allies put German "war criminals" on trial. What if the tables had been turned and Germany had won WWII. The Germans would have been holding war trials on Allied figures like Patton, Eisenhower, DeGalle, Churchill, etc.

Like I said, "legality" has nothing to do with war.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 12:50 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Let me enlighten you and some others here on something in relation to international law and state sovereignty:

The interests of a state trumps international law.
seekerof


my questionis, wouldn't that also apply to Iran? Wouldn't it be in thier best interest to do whatever it takes to protect itself from the continual warmongering of Bush, the U.S. and Israel?

All this crap on the news and in these forums of how Iran broke the NPT etc etc would be irrelevant according to your statement, and yet people want to use it as an excuse for preemptive war.

the hypocrisy!

[edit on 11-5-2006 by Shortness]



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 01:31 AM
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So, Seekerof and FlyersFan, what you're saying is that might makes right. It's ok for the US to ignore international law if it can get away with it. This is a pretty similar attitude to citizens of Germany in the thirties and forties. They believed that Hitler was 'liberating' the Sudetenland and that the needs of Germany trumped those of other nations. Germany too had an exceptionally militarised society (the US has more people involved in its armed services than any other country in the world) and there was a similar emphasis on patriotism, love of the heimat or homeland. The US is run by its corporations, and we know what Mussolini had to say about that kind of thing, don't we?

"Fascism is more properly to be called corporatism, marking as it does the merger of state and corporate power".

If there were someone in your neighbourhood who collected more arms than anyone else, went into peoples' houses and emptied their larders and took their cars, and acted like a bully but could get away with it because no-one dared take them on, would that make them 'legal' or right to do what they were doing? That's where your argument leads.

International law is there to try and prevent that kind of thing occurring. Unfortunately the reality is that might makes right in this world: but the inane, hypocritical posturing of those countries drunk on power is nonetheless nauseating.

In deference to the topic, it's unlikely that the US could make a case that Iran represented a threat to the US, imminent or otherwise. The hype surrounding Iraq is only going to work a second time on those US citizens willing to be gulled again to maintain the myth that the US is a good country that only wants to help people. Sadly, there seems to be enough of them that their government can get away with that kind of thing domestically: the internal propaganda is working rather well.

As for threatening US 'interests', that is not a legal excuse to go to war. We're back with Germany and its need for lebensraum and a subservient Europe that 'trumped' the requirements of its neighbours to live in peace. But I agree with the poster who said that for an attack on Iran to work it would have to be a full-scale invasion... and we know where that leads, now. There's a wonderful shining example of the benefits of that kind of intervention (*sarcasm*) right next door.

Someone earlier in this thread asked if it was legal for the USSR to have invaded Afghanistan. In the interests of historical accuracy I'd just point out that the USSR was invited in by the Afghan government who were under attack from the US-backed mujahideen. The US invaded Afghanistan to get Bin Laden, or that was the ostensible reason. Where IS OBL, btw?



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 02:18 AM
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I suppose the real question here is, what steps might the United States take to appear legitimate in the eyes of the world community prior to the start of offensive operations aginst Iran?

I'm not sure its possible for the U.S. to take unilateral action against Iran with a much larger effort, which would certainly take a decade or more to complete.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 02:32 AM
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Nathabeanz, I think you may be asking the wrong question. To me whats important is whether or not attacking Iran is necessary. If so then legality becomes irrelevent. What must be must be. If not, the question is moot, as without need for an attack there should be no attack



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 03:19 AM
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Iran poses a very serious threat to America's national security...

They have 79 F-14 Tomcats

An Army of 350,000 strong

And even a Navy of vastly superior patrol boats

Don't kid yourself. These guys could be storming Washington and New York tomorrow.

(insert The Emperor's theme from Star Wars here)

-S



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:27 AM
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Originally posted by Savonarola
Iran poses a very serious threat to America's national security...
They have 79 F-14 Tomcats
An Army of 350,000 strong
And even a Navy of vastly superior patrol boats
Don't kid yourself. These guys could be storming Washington and New York tomorrow.
(insert The Emperor's theme from Star Wars here)
-S


Don't forget their terrifying, cutting-edge tactics of mounting suicidal frontal charges using teenagers. We don't need no steenking minesweepers!

What lovely commanders.



posted on May, 11 2006 @ 09:50 AM
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To bring up the question if war against Iran is legal is like saying if its a just war based on moral reasons. Thats the problem, you could say like North Korea's invasion of South Korea is legal, or that Iraq's invasion of Kuwait is legal, or Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor is legal. Or the U.S. attack on Serbia is legal.



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