Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week addressed the United Nations General Assembly. This man, who stole his re-election and violently suppresses his political opponents, sought to teach the world about democracy.
Ahmadinejad, who persecutes religious minorities and tortures civic activists, presumed to lecture the world about human rights. He denies the Holocaust and has threatened to wipe Israel off the map, but he dares to accuse Israel of genocide.
The United Nations and the world must stop treating Ahmadinejad like a national leader. Instead, we must start treating him like the international outlaw he is. In particular, Ahmadinejad must be brought before the International Criminal Court to stand trial for what may well be his most serious crime: incitement to genocide.
International law criminalizes not only the act of genocide, but also the direct and public incitement to commit genocide. This is an extremely important legal provision. The only way that the international community can stop genocide is if it prevents the acts that make it possible: namely the provocation of and preparation for such atrocities by people in positions of authority.
Ahmadinejad's repeated threats to destroy Israel present a clear case of incitement to genocide. He has made these threats explicitly, publicly, and repeatedly. His pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, as well as his ongoing support for Hezbollah and Hamas, demonstrate that these threats are by no means idle.
The next time Ahmadinejad appears before an international tribunal, it must not be as an honored guest at the United Nations General Assembly. It must be as a defendant in the dock of the International Criminal Court.
Please click here to sign a petition calling on the United Nations Security Council to refer Ahmadinejad to the International Criminal Court for prosecution. The petition will be delivered to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, as well as to the current Security Council Chair.
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