University of Baltimore Journal of International Law


Patrick McDade


Lost in the international debate raging around Iran’s burgeoning nuclear weapons program is the deep and complex history that exists between the United States and Iran, as well as the legal rights and responsibilities that exist between the two nations. A thorough examination of the intensely adversarial relationship that has developed over the past sixty years must be undertaken before any path to a diplomatic solution is likely to succeed. The historical evidence clearly shows that Iran’s animosity towards and distrust of the United States is entirely justified, and the United States’ mistrust of Iran is equally well-grounded. Due these decades of animosity and mistrust, the United States is likely to ignore the significant legal arguments available to Iran under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and take military action when Iran refuses to back down before an enemy nation

The article examines all of these issues and ultimately concludes that a high likelihood of armed-conflict exists in this situation, which will almost definitely result in a protracted regional war. This article then considers these historical, legal, and diplomatic realities to suggest significant and creative changes in the diplomatic approach to Iran are necessary to prevent the United States from entering into yet another armed-conflict in the Middle-East.



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