Australia on Iran Sanctions and Indicting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

[Australia/Israel Review] Prime Minister John Howard: The Government remains seriously concerned at support from within Iran for insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are similarly concerned that Iran is still not providing full cooperation and transparency to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and remains in breach of three UN Security Council Resolutions. Australia is imposing sanctions against Iran in relation to its nuclear and missile proliferation-sensitive activities as required by UN Security Council Resolutions 1737 and 1747 adopted unanimously in December 2006 and March 2007 respectively. These sanctions oblige all states to prevent Iran gaining access to goods and services that would contribute to Iran's enrichment related, reprocessing or heavy-water related activities, or to the development of nuclear weapon delivery systems. Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd: Iran's repeated violations of international law and monitoring requirements for its nuclear program are intensely concerning. First, we would like to initiate legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on a charge of incitement to genocide. This could occur through the International Court of Justice on reference by the UN Security Council. This option has a growing body of supporters, including former Canadian Attorney-General Irwin Cotler, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. They refer to Ahmadinejad's statements about wiping Israel off the map, questioning whether Zionists are human beings and the recent abhorrent conference that he convened on the veracity of the Holocaust. It is strongly arguable that this conduct amounts to incitement to genocide - criminalized under the 1948 genocide convention. Adopting this approach would serve two purposes. Firstly, as the former Israeli UN Ambassador Dore Gold mentioned, it will move the international legal system from punishing genocide post-facto to preventing it before it occurs. Secondly, it would seriously undermine Ahmadinejad's international legitimacy and his standing at home. The preparation of formal changes and the process of hearing would require Ahmadinejad to justify his inflammatory and destabilizing posturing and rhetoric.

2007-09-25 01:00:00

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