An Attack on Iran Would Violate US and International Law,

Marjorie Cohn, professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law

[…] Ratified treaties are “the supreme law of the land” under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. That means their provisions constitute U.S. law. The United Nations Charter, which the U.S. ratified in 1945, is therefore binding domestic law.

In Article 2, the Charter provides, “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.” The only exception to the Charter’s prohibition on the threat or use of force is when a country acts in self-defense or with the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

Countries may engage in individual or collective self-defense only in the face of an armed attack, under Article 51 of the Charter. Iran has not mounted an armed attack against the United States. Under the well-established Caroline case, there must exist “a necessity of self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation.”

Pompeo’s claim that Iranian-sponsored attacks will “imminently” occur against U.S. forces remains unsubstantiated. Nothing in the Charter allows a U.N. member country to unilaterally decide to use military force unless it does so in self-defense. If the United States were to attack and/or invade Iran, it would be acting unlawfully and not in self-defense. Läs artikel