GSI President Jonathan Granoff was featured in The Huffington Post, with an important article highlighting the special duty of America to follow the rule of law in addressing the international challenge of Iran.
Regarding Iran, America Must Look to the Constitution
The debate over what should be done about the risk that Iran might be developing nuclear weapons is likely to continue regardless of the specific outcome of recent negotiations. That a possible future failure of these negotiations could lead to war is dubiously legal, under both national as well as international law. Certainly, Iran’s refusal to abide by Security Council Resolutions to cease uranium enrichment is not a matter to be taken lightly. Its conduct demonstrates a callous disregard for international order and the UN Charter itself. However, upturning national and international law to address Iran’s misconduct must remain off the table.
The most important contribution to international order and national governance made by the United States remains the rule of law. Our country was founded on a secular Constitution, and from that document our legitimacy arises. Reference to God does not even exist in that exalted instrument. This is different from Iran or Israel, both of which have leading political figures asserting divine origins for state authority; Iran has more formally institutionalized this narrative. As Americans we must analyze any use of force which would constitute an act of war through the lenses of domestic and international law. No one could possibly argue that bombing a sovereign nation is not an act of war.
This was Jonathan’s second recent article in the HuffPo on the subject of Iran. His March 21st piece, “Iran: All Options on the Table,” explored several non-military options towards a peaceful resolution, including approaches already agreed upon by all relevant parties, such as advancing a Middle East Zone free of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Iran: All Options on the Table?
We hear a great deal of bravado on the best way to respond to the international security threat posed by Iran. The mantra of having “all options on the table” should include the many options beyond just increased sanctions and military force.
It would be very dangerous for Iran to develop nuclear weapons. Moreover, by flouting Security Council resolutions that demand suspension of all uranium enrichment and reprocessing activities, Iran undermines respect for international law and erodes confidence in diplomacy. It generates fear in its neighbors, particularly Israel, which in turn threatens violence.
To move away from this dangerous and unstable situation, both Israel and Iran must obtain security. If either feels threatened, progress toward security will be hard to obtain.
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Jonathan Granoff is the President of the Global Security Institute, a representative to United Nations of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates, a former Adjunct Professor of International Law at Widener University School of Law, and Senior Advisor to the Committee on National Security American Bar Association International Law Section.