Does the U.S. Currently Have a Right of Self-Defense Against Iran?
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
As most Lawfare readers know, the United States accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers on June 13 in the Gulf of Oman and crippling the ships with explosions that were presumably caused by naval mines. One tanker was flagged to Japan and the other to Norway. The United States released a video that it claims shows men on an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) boat pulling a limpet mine off one of the tankers, but several other states—including Germany and Norway—have said that the video does not conclusively show what happened. In addition, the United States accused Iran of trying to shoot down a U.S. drone (an MQ-9 Reaper) that was surveilling one of the vessels in the aftermath of the explosion. The shot—from a “modified Iranian SA-7 surface-to-air missile”—missed the Reaper by about one kilometer.