Iran Had Legal Right To Counter Attack Israel In Self Defense


Israel first attacked Iran’s embassy in Syria on April 1, in an act of war. Tehran had a legal right to respond in self-defense, according to article 51 of the UN Charter, which it did with missiles and drone strikes on April 13.

By Ben Norton | Geopolitical Economy Report

Iran launched a historic attack on April 13, hitting Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles.

Tehran invoked article 51 of the charter of the United Nations, which allowed it to act in self-defense in response to Israel’s bombing of Iran’s embassy in Syria on April 1.

The US, Canada, and European governments loudly condemned Iran’s April 13 attack, portraying Tehran as the aggressor. However, Western officials failed to mention that Iran was acting in self-defense.

Before the Iranian counter-attack, the leading British think tank Chatham House published an article admitting that the “Israeli attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus on 1 April marks an unprecedented escalation by Israel against Iran in Syria”.

Tel Aviv killed top Iranian military officers, including Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

Chatham House stated that the April 1 attack was “the clearest signal yet of Israel’s determination to shift the conflict’s rules of engagement”, by “directly eliminating Iranian leadership”.

Israel’s bombing of Iran’s diplomatic facilities in Syria violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which states that embassies and consulates constitute the sovereign territory of the countries to which they belong.

The US, UK, and France shielded Israel from legal consequences for its act of war against Iran by blocking a resolution in the UN Security Council on April 4 that would have condemned the attack on Tehran’s embassy.

By preventing the UN Security Council from taking action, Western governments made an Iranian counter-attack inevitable.

Before April 13, Western officials knew that Iran was preparing a response.

US President Joe Biden threatened Iran on April 12, ordering Tehran not to attack Israel.

During the April 13 Iranian strikes, the US and UK militaries were directly involved in backing Israel, helping to shoot down Iranian drones. Jordan’s military likewise joined in support of Israel.

While launching its counter-attack, Iran’s permanent mission to the United Nations invoked article 51 of the UN Charter “following a 13-day period marked by the Security Council’s inaction and silence, coupled with its failure to condemn the Israeli regime’s aggressions”.

Tehran denounced “Certain countries’ precipitous condemnation of Iran’s exercise of its legitimate right suggests a reversal of roles, equating the victim with the criminal”.

In their statements “strongly condemning” Iran’s April 13 counter-attack, US President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres all failed to mention that Tehran was acting in self-defense, and had a legal right to respond to Israel’s act of war.

Also left unmentioned was the fact that Israel has repeatedly bombed Lebanon, deep inside its sovereign territory; that a top UN expert has formally accused Israel of genocide in Gaza; and that Israel has flagrantly violated a ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at the Hague that ordered Tel Aviv to stop killing Palestinians and to honor the Genocide Convention.