Using the ICJ to Stop Israeli Jets From Bombing Iran

by Julian Ku

I don’t know how seriously to take Prof. Francis Boyle, who is literally dying to file an application in the ICJ on behalf of Iran against Israel and the U.S.   Still, this interview in the Iran English language news site suggests something might happen soon. And Iran might get a sympathetic hearing at the ICJ.  And it would raise interesting legal issues, even if it had no practical effect on the Israeli Air Force.

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/07/23/using-the-icj-to-stop-israeli-jets-from-bombing-iran/

7 Responses

  1. The fact that threatening Iran with attacks is a violation of international law (not to mention the US’s insistence that nuking Iran is an “option on the table”) is not dependent on any ICJ ruling. The ICJ doesn’t have to rule on it to make it illegal — it is a long recognized principle of international law, recognized by the UN Charter, that even threatening to resort to force to solve international disputes is itself a crime.

  2. Hello?  How about an ICJ complaint against Iran for threatening Israel?  Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric is inexcusably provocative and destabilizing, and has been so consistently. 

    Where’s the King of Spain when you need him?

  3. Last time I checked Article 51 of the UN Charter allows Israel the right to self-defense.  As many time as Iran has threatened to destroy Israel, Israel would at least have an arguable right to defend itself if it has reason to believe that Iran has a nuclear program and the existence of a nuclear weapon is imminent.

  4. So as soon as Iran acquires nuclear weapon, it is ok for Israel to attack Iran? And this is what self-defense means in Article 51 of the Charter? By the same logic, it is ok for any neighbour to attack Israel, since it has like 300 nuclear bombs which might be used against them anytime. And I say, such an Israeli attack would be quite ‘imminent’.

  5. Israel is not threatening to destroy Iran.

    It has made some noises about the possibility of a strike against offensive Iranian nuclear capabilities which endanger Israel, just as it has previously done against similar facilities in Syria and Iraq. 

    Why does Israel feel endangered by those facilities?  Perhaps because Ahmadinejad continues to call for Israel’s destruction.

  6. Ahmadinejad uses harsh language about Israel, without a doubt, but actually most of his punchlines, like infamous one about ‘wiping Israel off the map’ are misquoted. He actually called for ending Israel’s domination in the region.
    No one really believes that nuclear Iran would actually bring the destruction of Israel – nuclear strike on Israel would bring the same destruction to Iran. No on really believes that Iran, if acquired a nuclear weapon, would just give it away to some terrorist bunch – that’s simply insane. What Israel is really afraid of is losing nuclear domination and superiority in the region, which would actually be a positive thing. Pakistan and India did not set off the nuclear apocalypse, neither nuclear Iran and Israel would.

  7. He sure gets misquoted a lot, by Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).  And no one issues a retraction or clarification, much less an apology.

    It has happened before that a nation’s leader repeatedly made dangerous threats which were excused because ‘everyone knows he doesn’t mean that’ or ‘he’s been misquoted.’  And then he surprised everyone by doing exactly what he said.

    If a responsible national leader was misquoted as saying about another country any of the many ghastly things attributed to Ahmadinejad, the responsible national leader would quickly correct the problem.  Instead, Ahmadinejad repeats them, and adds to them.  I have sincerely looked for evidence that he doesn’t actually mean the things he says.  I understand the translation issues, and that one of these statements was him quoting the Ayatollah.  But I have found no evidence that he does not mean what he says.

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