IranAffairs.com 19 April 2006:
When asked about nuking Iran, Bush responded that "all options are on the table." Bush's threat to nuke Iran is an international war crime for which he should be indicted and put on trial. Iran should immediately file charges against him, and demand that the UN Security Council should act pursuant to Security Council Resolution 984 of 11 April 1995, to protect the world from Bush's genocidal threats.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist reported in their Sept-Oct 2006 issue (pdf) that:
During an impromptu April 18 press conference, President George W. Bush was asked if his assertion that “all options are on the table” regarding Iran included the possibility of a nuclear strike. Bush reiterated, “All options are on the table. We want to solve this issue diplomatically, and we’re working hard to do so.” In no uncertain words, the president of the United States directly threatened Iran with a preemptive nuclear strike. It is hard to read his reply in any other way." (Note that even the Bulletin makes the error of labelling such an attack as "preemptive")
Others have interpretted Bush's statement exactly the same way, and for good reason. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in the New Yorker that the Pentagon is seriously considering conducting nuclear attacks against Iran. Actually, wasn't news even then; the US had previously made it clear that Iran was in the cross-hairs of the US nuclear weapons when portions of the secret US Nuclear Posture Review were initially leaked in 2002.
The double standard could not be more transparent. When Ahmadinejad supposedly said 'Israel must be wiped off the map,' the US media and commentators feigned mass outrage. Some claimed that Ahmadinejad should be indicted for "inciting genocide" , while others speculated about his sanity. But when Bush threatens to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children in a nuclear holocaust, the Western media's silence is deafening.
In all the hoopla created by the Hersh article, no one bothers to mention, for example, that planning or even threatening to attack another country is a crime for which Bush can (and should) be personally punished under international law. That was the standard that the US applied to the Nazis, after all. The Nuremburg Tribunal said so:
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances...
Second, no one mentions that the International Court of Justice has ruled that:
A threat or use of force by means of nuclear weapons that is contrary to Article 2, paragraph 4, of the United Nations Charter and that fails to meet all the requirements of Article 51, is unlawful.
Article 2 Paragraph 4 of the UN Charter prohibits the "threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state..." Article 51 of the UN Charter only allows the the use of force in self-defense, and then only if there has been an attack, and the response is proportional to the attack. Needless to say, Iran hasn't attacked the US nor is nuking Iran a proportional response.
Third, the US media do not bother mentioning that the Bush administration is violating a solemn committment by the US not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states, known as the Negative Security Assurance:
"The United States reaffirms that it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons except in the case of an invasion or any other attack on the United States, its territories, its armed forces or other troops, its allies, or on a State towards which it has a security commitment, carried out or sustained by such a non-nuclear-weapon State in association or alliance with a nuclear-weapon State."
Of course, the criminal Bush administration have since simply turned their backs on their committments (and yet Condaleeza Rice has the audacity to claim that it is Iran that "just can't be trusted.") What else can you expect from an administration that has circumvented Congress in installing Bolton, with his sociopathic views of internationl law, as the US ambassador to the UN?
Remember, Bolton is the same guy who falsely claimed that Cuba had biological weapons, but who also rejoiced at his killing-off of the UN Biological Weapons Convention:
"It's dead, dead, dead, and I don't want it coming back from the dead"
And when questioned about whether the US intended to abide by the promise of the Negative Security Assurance by not nuking other countries, Bolton responded: "I don't think we're of the view that this kind of approach is necessarily the most productive."
All of this should be seen as part and parcel of the Bush administration's systematic effort to undermine the Non-Proliferation Treaty, the same treaty that the Bush administration claims Iran has violated. The United States has already blatantly refused to abide by its NPT obligation to work towards disarmament. It has blatantly violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty by providing nuclear assistance to India too, despite the fact that India is not a "responsible" nuclear power as the Bush administration claims (and the Non-Proliferation Treaty doesn't allow the US to make such exceptions anyway.)
In fact, by threaning to nuke Iran, not only has Bush committed a crime under international law for which he must be held accountable, but he's violated Security Council Resolution 984 , which states:
"[I]n case of aggression with nuclear weapons or the threat of such aggression against a non-nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, any State may bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Security Council to enable the Council to take urgent action to provide assistance, in accordance with the Charter, to the State victim of an act of, or object of a threat of, such aggression; and recognizes also that the nuclear-weapon State permanent members of the Security Council will bring the matter immediately to the attention of the Council and seek Council action to provide, in accordance with the Charter, the necessary assistance to the State victim"
Iran, acting along with other members of the international community who are concerned about Bush's insanity, should immediately demand that the UN Security Council implement this provision of Resolution 984. Some may complain that since the US is a veto-wielding Permanent Member of the Security Council, Iran's complaint will not result in a condemnation. Even so, Iran should force the Council to take sides on the issue of nuclear first strikes. If the Council fails to act, it will only discredit itself, along with any future resolutions it may pass against Iran. Invoking Resolution 984 will also put the Bush administration's blatant nuclear hypocricy on open display.