Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


As the intensity of the verbal exchanges between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran grows, so does the importance of analyzing the current Israeli-Iranian enmity. This note sets out to answer two questions: (1) Whether Israel has the right to attack Iran out of self-defense, and reciprocally; (2) whether Iran has the right to attack Israel out of self-defense. This paper will argue that while neither side may legally invoke the right of preemption or Article 51 self-defense, there is ample evidence to suggest that Iran has more of a reason to fear an Israeli conventional attack on its nuclear installations than Israel has to fear an Iranian nuclear attack on its civilian population.