Threats of military action on Iran as well as a possible de facto attack are illegal
News Unspun, which is an alternative analysis source to mainstream news media, said four major news websites have suggested an attack on Iran “attack on Iran would violate international
law” only in four articles while they have ran 31 articles suggesting “Iran has, could have, or might violate international law.”
News Unspun said it has examined the stories on the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph since October 1, 2011.
“In the media, one fact is not (yet) up for debate,” the alternative viewpoint website said.
“That any invasion of Iran would be a violation of international law - even if Iran was in the process of developing nuclear weapons. The United Nations Charter also outlaws the ‘threat of the use of force’, an act in which much of the media, in its uncritical stance towards government threats, has made itself complicit,” it added.
News Unspun said The Guardian, The Independent and The Telegraph failed to make even one reference to the illegality of a war on Iran in their news sections over the past six months while the BBC only mentioned the issue once in the period in an article name “How would Iran respond to an Israeli attack?”
According to News Unspun, The Guardian refused to acknowledge the fact itself leaving the reference to the illegality of an attack on Iran for its “Comment is Free” section, which published three articles that “correctly pointed out that an invasion would violate international law.”
The BBC’s article on March 7, 2012 said “for all the uncertainties as to whether Israel would attack Iran and indeed how Iran might respond, one thing is clear - in terms of international law, such a strike would be illegal.”
The website however silenced the matter in its earlier twin article “How Israel might strike at Iran” (February 27, 2012).
The Guardian’s Comment is Free articles were more specific on the subject.
“Repeatedly threatening Iran with a military attack, thinly disguised under the phrase 'all options are on the table' and publicly announcing that the west must use covert operations to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programme (as John Sawers, the head of MI6, demanded two years ago), are only two examples of the UK’s disrespect for the UN charter,” Abbas Edalat wrote on December 1, 2011 on the website.
In another article on February 21, 2012, Seumas Milne echoed that perspective saying “British defence establishment’s Royal United Services Institute, points out, such an attack would be entirely illegal: ‘There is no basis in international law for preventative, rather than pre-emptive, war’.”
The issue was also brought up by Saeed Kamaliu Denghan on March 21, 2012.
News Unspun said the Guardian website further tried to hide the illegality of a military strike on Iran running 14 articles -- and in its news section rather than in its Comment section - that “have insinuated violation of international law on the part of Iran.”
The BBC nine such articles with The Independent and The Telegraph publishing six and two similar stories respectively.
“The media takes little interest in informing us that threats of war, and war itself, are illegal… Government claims that Iran has either acted or is threatening to act outside of international law are, however, free to flourish and propagate their way through the mainstream,” News Unspun said.
Iran’s envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency Ali Asghar Soltanieh underlined that point on the sidelines of a meeting of the IAEA’s Board of Governors in Vienna earlier this month.
"According to the Resolution 533 in 1990, any attack or threat of attack on [Iran’s] nuclear institutions or facilities is a violation of the United Nations Charter, the IAEA’s statute and international law," he said.