Why does Iran need the help of an American Lawyer to file charges at ICJ?

April 10, 2013 | Correction Thursday, April 11, 2013
Spotted today on iranreview.org: 'Francis A. Boyle: I’m Ready to Help Iran Freeze the Sanctions' - Iran Review Exclusive Interview with Francis A. Boyle By: Kourosh Ziabari
The interview is intriguing as it highlights some of the pressures that the people of Iran are unjustly being subjected to at the hands of the Western hectoring hegemons. The interview is reproduced below in its entirety along with the interviewer's preamble to raise awareness among the Western public. My take on Prof. Francis A Boyle's craftsmanship is at the end.
Saturday, April 06, 2013 The economic sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States and its allies are being intensified every single day. The United States brags about diplomacy, détente and reconciliation with Iran, but it tightens the grip of sanctions around Iran on every occasion and especially once Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are slated to meet. It not only imposes new sanctions on Iran’s finance, oil, insurance and media sectors, but incites the European countries to impose sanctions on Iran, as well. The sanctions have made trade, business and daily life difficult for the Iranian people, but they haven’t surrendered yet.
In order to discuss the different aspects of the anti-Iran sanctions, Iran Review has begun doing exclusive interviews with renowned political analysts, legal experts, authors and university professors who oppose these unjustifiable sanctions. Our today’s interviewee is one of the world’s most renowned lawyers and legal experts.
Francis A. Boyle is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois’s College of Law. Prof. Boyle has a Ph.D. in political science from the Harvard University. He is a vocal critic of the U.S. foreign policy, and especially the War on Terror which has claimed the lives of thousands of innocent people across the world, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 Boyle denounced the “ongoing criminal activities perpetrated by the Bush Jr. administration and its nefarious foreign accomplices in allied governments such as in Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Georgia, etc.”
Prof. Boyle has predicted that the land of Palestine which is stolen and occupied by the Israelis will return to its original owners, and Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of the Palestinian State. According to Boyle, Israel is “nothing more than a Jewish Bantustan, set up by the Western colonial powers, in the Middle East, to control and dominate the Middle East at their behest.”
In 2006, Prof. Francis A. Boyle was asked by the Iranian government to help file a lawsuit against the United States and its European allies over the illegal and unilateral economic sanctions they have imposed on Iran. He agreed to cooperate and submitted his proposal to the Iran, but his cooperation didn’t continue for some reasons. In this interview, we will be discussing Prof. Boyle’s proposal and also his viewpoints regarding the reasons why he thinks the anti-Iran sanctions are illegal and criminal.
Q: Do you think that the process of passing Iran’s nuclear dossier to the Security Council was illegal, and if so, do the resolutions issued on this basis have legal warranty and credibility?
A: Thank you very much for having me on, and my best to all my friends in Iran; it’s been a while since I last spoke to you. Of course not. There’s no reason to move Iran’s file to the Security Council. It should have stayed with the IAEA, but the U.S. government exerted pressure on the IAEA board to forward it to the Security Council.
Q: What about the unilateral sanctions? Isn’t focusing the sanctions on medicine, foodstuff and consumer goods and depriving the ordinary citizens of such goods tantamount to a continued and systematic violation of human rights?
A: Certainly this is clearly designed to punish and coerce the Iranian people and try to turn them against the government under President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei. I had already submitted a proposal to the Iranian government quite some time ago to sue the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Israel and several other European states at the International Court of Justice in The Hague to stop the further development of the sanctions [that are] only collectively punishing the Iranian people and it’s going to get worse the next time the EU meets, so again I respectfully renew my request to President Ahmadinejad and His Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei to give me the authority to file those lawsuits as soon as possible.
Q: Would you please elaborate more on your proposal? Will the lawsuit have a practical guarantee if it’s submitted to the ICJ? I mean, can it lead to a freeze on the unilateral sanctions and the EU’s oil embargo against Iran?
A: If the Iranian government had followed my proposal when I submitted it in 2006, I think we could have prevented large numbers of the sanctions already imposed. At this point, I guess the best we are able to do it to stop further sanctions, because it’s clear that the United States, Britain, France and the European Union member states will be meeting again soon to impose another round of sanctions against Iran. So I can’t make any guarantees about prior sanctions. We should have filed this lawsuit a long time ago and we could stop them. But, as for future sanctions, yes, I think we can stop them, and also to inhibit a military attack upon Iran by the United States, Israel, France, Britain and above them Canada and some other NATO states who have been threatening Iran. So that’s what we can do now.
Q: How can Iran legally demonstrate that the sanctions imposed on it are illegal? I ask this because the United States claims that it imposes sanctions to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, while Iran says that its nuclear program is peaceful. How can Iran prove that the sanctions are unlawful and unjustifiable?
A: Again, my proposal to the Iranian government going back to 2006 was to sue all these states at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and get a temporary restraining order against all of them for any economic sanctions against Iran and against threatening and preparing a military attack against Iran. So, that’s what Iran can do. What can I say? Everything I can is to get the Iranian government of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad to authorize this lawsuit and I respectfully renew my request again before the situation gets worse.
Q: Do you have any experience of helping other UN member states take legal action against the economic sanctions imposed upon them by the United States and other countries?
A: Well, I advised Colonel Gaddafi to sue the United States and Britain over the spurious Lockerbie bombing allegations at the world court and eventually Colonel Gaddafi was able to work his way out of those sanctions, yes. And at least at the time I was advising him, there was no military attack until 2011 that the United States and NATO decided to stab Colonel Gaddafi in the back. But I’ve done this work with Libya, and also with Bosnia. I won two world court orders on behalf of Bosnia and Herzegovina against Yugoslavia to prevent them from committing all acts of genocide against them. So, I submitted a memorandum to your government, and also answered all of their questions, and yet for some reason, the green light to this lawsuit has not been given by the president or His Holiness the Ayatollah. So I really don’t know what the problem is. I guess it’s political. I guess there are some people in the Iranian government who believe in good faith that they can negotiate with the Americans, but I don’t really see that would get anywhere; between you and me. Maybe it will or maybe it won’t. I think the Americans are biding their time until they’re taking care of Syria and then they’ll turn on Iran. But of course this is for the President of Iran to decide, and His Holiness the Ayatollah, not me.
Q: Had you received any response from the Iranian government when you first submitted your proposal to them? Had they told you what actions are needed to be taken so that you may realize your plan?
A: It was the Iranian government that asked me to submit the proposal in the first place, which I did and then I responded to their questions. But then, there was nothing more after that. I think the last time I heard from them was a year ago. So, there’s not much more I can do sitting here in Champaign, Illinois. I think I’ve made sure that my proposal got to the office of the president and got to the office of His Holiness Ayatollah Khamenei. So they are aware of this proposal, but so far, nothing more has happened. But again, maybe they decided that they prefer negotiations with the Americans and this is for them to decide, not me. I’m a lawyer.
Q: I don’t know why the office of president hasn’t responded to you so far. Maybe they have some bureaucratic restrictions or problems to cooperate with you. But what I want to ask you now is that, are you still ready and willing to cooperate with the Iranian government if they reply to you and take up your initiative for suing the United States and its European allies in the International Court of Justice?
A: Sure; I’ll be on the next airplane to The Hague to meet with your lawyers there and draft a lawsuit. I’ve already told them, but haven’t heard anything.
Q: Let’s get to some questions on the sanctions and war threats against Iran. It seems that the main objective Israel seeks through issuing repeated war threats on Iran is to persuade the U.S. and EU to intensify the sanctions against the country. Why don’t the United Nations and European Union give a clear-cut and decisive response to Israel which is continuously threatening Iran in violation of the UN Charter?
A: Because the United States controls the entire Security Council except Russia and China, and in my opinion, I don’t believe that Iran can rely upon Russia and China. Russia and China sold out Libya in the Security Council resolution 1973 in 2011. I know Iran is diplomatically relying on Russia and China to prevent further sanctions at the Security Council, but I think Iran has to protect itself and act to protect its own interest. We remember the long contentious relationship between Iran and Russia and before that the Soviet Union when they occupied half of Iran during the World War II, so Russia is going to do whatever Russia thinks is in its own interest, and if in some point they think that it’s necessary to sacrifice Iran to the Americans, they will, just like they sacrificed Libya.
Q: What do you think about the legal aspects of the assassination of Iran’s civilian nuclear scientists by the Israeli agents and the members of U.S., Britain and other European countries’ intelligence agencies? How is it possible to legally sue these countries for such terrorist activities and other acts of sabotage they occasionally carry out in Iran’s soil?
A: Yes, there is a treaty directly on point prohibiting computer attacks on nuclear power facilities and I’m surprised that Iran has not, to my best knowledge, so far raised this treaty. There’s a treaty directly on point prohibiting attacks on nuclear power facilities. That was concluded under the auspices of the United Nations a rather while ago and clearly called such kinds of attacks on Iran’s nuclear power and research facilities by Israel and the United States as an international crime and an act of terrorism. This UN treaty was concluded within a series of international treaties when the West intended to deal with the phenomenon of international terrorism. Certainly, if this lawsuit were filed at the world court against the United States, Israel, Britain, France and Germany, we could raise these acts of terrorism against the Iranian nuclear facilities and the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists. That can be done.
Q: Would you please delve on the issue of the assassinations? Because so far, 5 Iranian scientists have been murdered in the daylight, while no voice of condemnation and criticism was raised and the UN Secretary General hasn’t even sent a message of sympathy with the Iranian nation. Why is it so?
A: This is clearly state terrorism and international criminal activity by the United States and Israel at the minimum. But again, the United States pretty much controls the Security Council, and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon does whatever the Americans tell him to do. It was the United States who got Ban Ki-moon that job and put him into that position, so he takes his orders from the United States and of course he will not say anything in condemnation.
Q: Let’s get back to the sanctions. It’s said that the sanctions that target the ordinary civilians are a kind of collective punishment, and collective punishment is a crime according to the Nuremberg Tribunals. The Western states claim that they care for the human rights, but they are behaving in such a hypocritical manner and punish the Iranian citizens for a crime they have not committed. What’s your viewpoint on that?
A: Sure. You’re correct that the United States and the European states are all trying very hard to turn the Iranian people against their government and their leadership including His Holiness the Ayatollah. Remember that the United States always has opposed the Islamic Republic of Iran, and so they want to get rid of it. Now, as I said, if Iran had authorized and filed this lawsuit in 2006, I think we could have stopped a lot of the sanctions, but the bottom line now is Iran is facing more sanctions. Again the European Union will be meeting again, I think in May, to impose more sanctions, and the Americans also want to impose more sanctions. So in my opinion, we have to at least stop that and I think we can. And then, [we have] all these threats of military attack being made against Iran by the United States, Israel, Britain and France and the acts of terrorism against Iran’s nuclear power facilities by means of the computer viruses which emanate from Israel, the United States and apparently Germany, and the assassination of your nuclear scientists by Israel and perhaps with the cooperation of the United States. So, the appropriate place we can deal with all this is the International Court of Justice.
Q: Do you think that the International Court of Justice will respond to Iran’s appeal for the lifting of the sanctions positively? Some political commentators believe that ICJ is dominated by the Western powers and cannot maintain an independent policy. Is that true?
A: Well, I think what we can do now is to get temporary restraining orders from the court to try to stop the U.S. and the European states from imposing more sanctions on Iran. I think we can get that for sure. And I also think we can get a temporary restraining order against the U.S., Israel, France, Britain and NATO states from attacking Iran. I think we can do that. Beyond that, it’s hard to predict that by the end of the day, what will happen. But I think we can do what I’ve outlined here. I’ve done this type of work for both Libya and Bosnia.

Zahir's Take on Prof. Francis Boyle: The fact that Iran approached Dr. Francis A. Boyle for their legitimate grievances is revealing. But so is the fact of their subsequent reticence. My examination of FAB's opinions is in my article of January 07, 2011, Response to Francis Boyle's '2011: Prospects for Humanity?' – Unlimited Imperialism and Nation-States but no Secret Rule by Oligarchy for World Government!
My aforementioned article cites three letters I had written Dr. Boyle (January 31, 2010 on Iraq-Afghan Victims, October 22, 2010 on Jewistan, and October 10, 2010 on A Case for Treason).
Altogether, these missives betray quite a different picture of Prof. Francis A Boyle's famous dissent of empire. It is a puzzling picture to be sure – for how can someone be so sophisticated with so many terminal degrees in law and political science from Harvard, while simultaneously also appear so naïve when it comes to understanding the Hegelian Dialectic and the agenda for world government?
Before Iran or any other victim nation engages the altruistic legal services of Prof. Francis A. Boyle, they must become familiar with the issues raised in my article and seek a satisfactory explanation for the anomalies noted therein. Dr. Boyle has stoically refused to address them.
To my mind, Dr. Boyle's egregious omissions are far more significant than his bold truth-telling of what's already grotesquely apparent, and his conscionable legal advocacy for their redressal. On the surface, his legal advocacy appears fantastic and principled. But as my examination in the above letters and article demonstrate, Dr. Boyle also evidently likes to pursue the lowest order bits while ignoring the higher order ones. He pursues the effects and ignores the cause. He gets the causality wrong every time. What sort of trial attorney does that? The sort examined in my article of April 09, 2009: Who is more guilty of monumental war crimes - the prime-movers or trigger pullers?
Perhaps the Iranians also perceive this obvious philosophical trait in this superior Western legal mind's moral dissent -- which might explain their subsequent reticence to further seeking out his assistance.
But what is strange is that don't the Iranian government have their own legal minds that they have to resort to one from their sworn enemy's nation? Dr. Boyle maintains that it was the Iranians who first approached him: It was the Iranian government that asked me to submit the proposal in the first place, which I did and then I responded to their questions.”?
Good for the Iranians to have stopped this silliness. Clearly, the Iranian officialdom and their nation of 75 million that has withstood the collective aggression of the hectoring hegemons for well over three decades now, is just as capable of knowing and exercising International Law as Prof. Francis Boyle of the United States of America – the principal hectoring hegemon. See Iran Today - Building Self Reliance Under Siege. Because, it is, after all, called “international law”! What sense would it make that only the superior American legal mind is competent to practice international law?
Iran's subsequent reticence shows both their shrewdness and their own self-respect. Perhaps they have now come to appreciate Hegel and controlled dissent far better than the young Iranian interviewer.
But then again who knows how the brilliant Eastern mind that is far older than the Western civilization put together – indeed some even suggest is the progenitor of the Aryan race – plays the game of survival on the Grand Chessboard.
Whatever the Iranian calculus, unless the expert law professor is able to offer cogent explanations for what I deem to be the egregious shortcomings and mis-emphasis of focus in his otherwise learned opinions, the Iranian officialdom is well-served by continuing to rely on their own forces.
Iran has no friends in the occident --- or among the Muslim nations for that matter --- and they'd be back to inviting the Plague of Occidentosis to Iran that they have worked so assiduously since their Islamic revolution to overcome, if they make recourse to American and Western expertise for their self-defence. And specifically, in matters of international law which every sovereign nation must have competence over in order to remain an independent nation.
Sovereignty however may well be a lost cause under the oligarchy's pre-meditated drive for global governance using manufactured wars and pestilence as their diabolical pretexts; the first-cause prime-mover that Dr. Francis A. Boyle conveniently ignores in all of his dissent. Furthermore, making recourse to ICC (please note the correction below, it is ICJ and not ICC) is an admission of that fact that a supranational global court and global justice system is now acceptable to resolve disputes among nations. And the formulation of these disputes and their resolutions of course remain according to the prescribed law books written by the hectoring hegemons themselves who are orchestrating the erosion of national sovereignty worldwide by methods most devious (see citations at the end). It is their court – from whose jurisdiction (at least for ICC) they have already acquired immunity!
Supranational global court systems set up by the West are a farce just like Nuremberg Military Tribunal was a farce to administer victor's justice (see David Irving's Nuremberg, the last battle). But if you wish to play that farce, at least go for the jugular!
If Francis A. Boyle is willing to use his legal expertise to instead sue the Anglo-American oligarchy, from the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) to the RIIA (Royal Institute of International Affairs), in these supranational global courts – I might perhaps pay attention.
Iran is advised to do the same --- file legal suit against the real prime-movers behind the supranational organizations like the United Nations and the IAEA et. al. which are ab initio used to provide legal cover for naked aggression, if they wish to take meaningful legal action with any real teeth in it!
These hidden in plain sight prime-movers, the Brotherhood of Death and their institutional aiders and abettors, are the ones behind the scenes waging the incessant war on Iran and upon the rest of the world using the military might of the superpower as merely the sledge hammer du jour to drive their convoluted Hegelian Dialectics for global governance through.
File a principled lawsuit against the new world order, against world government, and against its harbingers in the supranational World Court systems that have been set up by the very same hectoring hegemons. See Of Ostriches and Rebels on The Hard Road to World Order. A good book that unpeels some of their identity is Antony C. Sutton's America's Secret Establishment and Carroll Quigley's The Anglo-American Establishment. It is trivial to identify their successors today.

Correction Thursday, April 11, 2013
The reference is to ICJ (International Court of Justice) and not ICC (International Criminal Court) which is a different supranational court. An earlier Press TV interview with Francis Boyle explains the distinction, where he also most forthrightly noted the same quandary: why Iran want's the help of an American lawyer:
Q. Precisely what would the charges against the US and Israel be? What are you hoping to achieve?
A. About two years ago Iran contacted me about a proposal I had made to sue the United States, Israel and the EU-3 (Britain, France and Germany) at the International Court of Justice in The Hague for their repeated and public threats to launch a military attack upon Iran over its undoubted right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to engage in nuclear reprocessing.
My proposal was that Iran should sue these states immediately, convene an Emergency Hearing by the World Court, and ask the Court to indicate provisional measures of protection on behalf of Iran against the United States, Israel and the EU-3 -- basically a temporary restraining order.
I felt that these lawsuits would be able to prevent a military attack against Iran and also prevent the imposition of sanctions against Iran by the United Nations Security Council. In addition, by Iran submitting this entire matter to the World Court, it would make it clear to the entire world who the real culprits are here.
The threat and use of military force clearly violates Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter. The Charter also mandates the peaceful resolution of international disputes. By filing these lawsuits Iran would prove to the entire world that it intends to resolve this matter peacefully and in accordance with international law.
I notice that just this week Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei publicly stated that he would sue the United States if it attacked Iran. I am proposing that we sue the United States immediately in order to prevent any attack upon or blockade of Iran, which would be an act of war.
Q. Why are you seeing to bring this action in an international court, rather than a domestic US court?
A. This would be a total waste of time. Based upon my prior experience, there is no way a United States court would rule against the United States government on a matter like this.
Q. You are proposing to represent Iran in a court action against the US and Israel - what are you seeking from Tehran - what mandate would they need to give you. Basically, how would this work?
A. Of course if Iran wants me to represent Iran in these lawsuits I would be happy to do so. But given the fact that I am a US national, Iran might prefer to have its own lawyers file these lawsuits. Iran already has a detailed Memorandum of Law from me on these lawsuits. The Iranian lawyers can simply use my Memorandum as they see fit. I would be happy to assist them in whatever way they desire.
Q. The International Criminal Court (ICC) has been in the news recently regarding a prosecution against Sudan's leader, Omar al-Bashir. Explain the difference between the ICJ and the ICC.
A. The International Court of Justice deals with disputes between states, which the nuclear reprocessing dispute is all about. The International Criminal Court deals with the personal criminal responsibility of individuals. It has no authority to rule upon or settle disputes between states, which the ICJ can do.
Q. The US does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC - what is its relationship with the ICJ?
A. The ICJ would have jurisdiction to hear lawsuits by Iran against the United States, Israel and the EU-3 irrespective of the ICC.

Caveat Emptor on ICJ Thursday, April 11, 2013
Iran would also do well to have their own legal minds carefully scrutinize the World Court venue for both its legal cracks and lacunas, as well as its real modus operandi under the realpolitik thumbscrews of the hectoring hegemons. The Iranians should refresh their own memory of the supranational legal system called the United Nations under whose jurisdiction runs the ICJ, by reviewing Phyllis Bennis' Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today's United Nations for some real anecdotes of how the United States really gets its vote.
The following notification is indicative of just such a crack – did the lawyers filing the case not know of this: However, the Convention requires that states must first attempt negotiations before initiating judicial proceedings. The Court held that Georgia had not attempted negotiations and as such the Court could not exercise jurisdiction.”
Iran has attempted negotiations with the United States, and the Americans have of course continually declined to negotiate, and therefore, while that particular requirement which applied to Georgia may not apply to Iran, some other similar gotcha can just as easily lead to the same “oops” end result.
World Court Throws out Georgia's Case Against Russia (April 1, 2011)
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled it does not have jurisdiction to hear a case brought by Georgia against Russia, alleging ethnic cleansing in the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. If these allegations are true, they are a serious violation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. However, the Convention requires that states must first attempt negotiations before initiating judicial proceedings. The Court held that Georgia had not attempted negotiations and as such the Court could not exercise jurisdiction. This decision may impede future attempts to bring the matter before the ICJ, as it cannot be pursued in the same form a second time. (Global Policy Forum)

First Published April 10, 2013 | Links fix November 5, 2016

Why does Iran need the help of an American Lawyer to file charges at ICJ? By Zahir Ebrahim 12/12