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updated 12/14/2006 10:13:32 PM ET


Bolton seeks charges against Iranian leader
U.N. ambassador says Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust remarks incite genocide

NEW YORK — Outgoing U.S. U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former diplomats from Israel and Canada called on the United Nations on Thursday to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide.

The U.N. International Court of Criminal Justice should charge Ahmadinejad for his threats against the United States, for calling for the destruction of Israel and for instigating discrimination against Christians and Jews, the group said.

“It’s important that if we are in this stage where we’re being given early warning, unambiguously, on what his intentions are, then it’s time to take action,” Bolton told a Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations symposium.

Ahmadinejad caused outrage in the West last year by calling for Israel to be “wiped off the map,” echoing comments by the Islamic Republic’s late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Speaking at a Tehran conference on Tuesday that questioned the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews were killed by the Nazis, Ahmadinejad said Israel’s days were numbered.

Iran is accused by the West of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, but it insists it wants nuclear power only to generate electricity. Ahmadinejad said in August Iran was not a threat to any country, “not even to the Zionist regime.”

“Iran and the government that President Ahmadinejad leads is not simply a regime that engages in hateful rhetoric,” said Bolton, whose temporary appointment as U.N. ambassador ends with the current U.S. Congressional term.

“It is seeking to acquire capabilities, which when married with the intentions that they talk of, has to be of very grave concern to the United States and all its friends and allies, in particular Israel.”

Referred to Holocaust as 'myth'
Ahmadinejad has also drawn condemnation from the West and Israel by describing the Holocaust as a “myth.”

“(Ahmadinejad) believes that if he manages to convince even a portion of the world that the Holocaust never took place, he can get away with committing yet another Holocaust again,” said former Israeli U.N. Ambassador Dore Gold.

Gold said statements by the Iran’s leader were a “clear cut” violation of the anti-incitement clauses of the U.N.’s 1948 Genocide Convention.

“This direct and public incitement of genocide is a standing threat, not only to Israel, but a standing threat to international peace and security,” said Irwin Cotler, Canada’s former justice minister and attorney general.

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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