On October 26-27, 2006, the Syracuse Law Review and the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism co-sponsored a symposium entitled, “A Nuclear Iran: The Legal Implications of a Preemptive National Security Strategy.” Participants included a number of legal scholars that specialize in preemption, use of the military (including the legality of covert operations), the role of international organizations, and use of diplomatic options (such as sanctions), as well as experts in Iranian, Israeli, and Middle Eastern politics and history. They discussed such issues as why Iran wants to be a nuclear power, the regional and international security ramifications of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, the domestic and international legal and political framework governing nuclear proliferation, and the legality and impact of various U.S. and international actions to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
The symposium opened with keynote remarks drafted by James Timbie, Senior Advisor to Dr. Robert Joseph, Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and the principal State officer for non- and counter-proliferation matters. It concluded with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Seymour Hersh, who gave a keynote address and moderated a panel discussion on the legality and effectiveness of various U.S. responses to a nuclear Iran. Articles written by the panelists were published by the Syracuse Law Review in its spring book, which was dedicated solely to the symposium.