US urges UN to charge Ahmadinejad
In a 411-2 vote, House of Representatives seeks to invoke genocide conventions.
By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JTA
June 21, 2007 17:38
1 minute read.
Ahmadinejad slick 298 88.
(photo credit: AP [file])
The US House of Representatives urged the UN Security Council Wednesday to charge Iran's president under genocide conventions.
The non-binding resolution, initiated by Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois) and Steve Rothman (D-New Jersey), passed by 411-2. It cites an October 27 speech in which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad allegedly called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) attempted to have read into the record alternate translations of Ahmadinejad's remarks that suggest the Iranian leader was calling Israel to come to an end through democratic means, and not through violence.
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"I am unequivocal in my support for the security and survival of Israel, and I do have serious concerns with the remarks made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran," said Kucinich, a long-shot candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. "But I object to resolutions that lay the groundwork for an offensive, unprovoked war."
One of the alternate translations was by the Middle East Media
Research Institute (MEMRI).
Kucinich and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a long-shot contender for the Republican presidential nomination, were the only votes against.
The sponsors of the resolution cited the UN charter to support their argument that Ahmadinejad should be charged.
The charter - which Iran has accepted - requires all UN member states to "refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."
"When the leader of an armed nation such as Iran calls for the destruction of a fellow member state of the United Nations, the UN must prosecute and punish him," Rothman said. "It is my hope that this resolution will effectively increase pressure on the United Nations to hold Iranian President Ahmadinejad accountable for his genocidal words and prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons."