The U.S. today is threatening to attack Iran "under the completely bogus pretext" that it might have a nuclear weapon, a distinguished American international legal authority says.
When Obama administration officials, like those of the Bush regime before it, say "all options are on the table," they are threatening nuclear war and that is prohibited by international law, says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois at Champaign.
Not only has the International Atomic Energy Commission said this charge against Iran "is simply not true," Boyle pointed out, but threatening Iran with nuclear war in itself constitutes an international crime.
"If we don't act now, Obama and his people could very well set off a Third World War over Iran that has already been threatened publicly by (President George W.) Bush Jr.," he asserted.
In a speech on nuclear deterrence to the 18th conference on "Direct Democracy" in Feldkirch, Austria, Boyle said it has been estimated an attack on Iran with tactical nuclear weapons by the U.S. and Israel could kill nearly 3-million people.
(Boyle charges the U.S. has already committed "acts of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and has authorized, armed, equipped, and supplied Israel to commit...outright genocide against Lebanon and Palestine.")
Nuclear weapons and "nuclear deterrence" have "never been legitimate instruments of state policy but have always constituted instrumentalities of internationally lawless and criminal behavior," Boyle said.
Thus, the governments of all the nuclear weapons states are "criminal" for threatening to exterminate humanity. Boyle named the U.S., Russia, France, Britain, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel. He reminded that "If mass extermination of human beings is a crime, the threat to commit mass extermination is also a crime."