Bayh, Hagel Call for U.N. Resolution Condemning Iran's Anti-Semitic Statements
Senators say remarks underscore the danger Iran could pose as a nuclear power
U.S. Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) today sent a letter to Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, calling for the UN to offer a strong resolution condemning recent statements by Iranian President Mohammed Ahmadinejad and by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ali Khameni threatening the existence of Israel and the United States. Bayh and Hagel, both members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, argued that the offensive statements were all the more dangerous because of Iran's recent declarations to defy its nuclear non-proliferation commitments.
"Words matter. The United Nations, and indeed all international organizations, must not accept hateful, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism as business as usual," Senators Bayh and Hagel wrote in their letter. "We respectfully urge you to marshal the international community against these falsehoods and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons."
In the letter, Bayh and Hagel made the case for issuing a swift and strong condemnation against Iran based on its leaders' recent comments and the threat the country poses through its clear desire to pursue a nuclear weapons program. The senators argue that Ahmadinejad's statements violate the United Nations Charter regarding the sovereignty of Member states and urge Secretary-General Annan to act quickly to check the growing danger posed by Iran.
This month, President Ahmadinejad denied the existence of the Holocaust and earlier said that it is "possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism." At the same time, Ahmadinejad has said that Iran is ready to "transfer nuclear know-how to Islamic countries" and that Iran is prepared to take "the most far reaching steps outside the requirements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty."
Attached is the letter Bayh and Hagel sent to Annan.
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
We write you to express our outrage at the anti-Semitic and hateful statements being made both by the President and by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran threatening the United States, denying the Holocaust, and rejecting the existence of the State of Israel. We appreciate comments made by you, as well as by the Security Council, in rejection of these offensive charges, but urge your leadership in making sure the General Assembly passes a strong resolution of condemnation against these actions.
Iranian President Mohammed Ahmadinejad began a spate of outrageous charges and assertions in October and restated them both at home and abroad just this past week. Ahmadinejad said in October that "Israel must be wiped off the face of the map," and that it is "possible to have a world without the United States and Zionism." He also said "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury."
Two weeks ago while in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Ahmadinejad denied the existence of the Holocaust and called for the transfer of Jews from the Middle East to territory in Europe, Canada or the United States. Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni endorsed these statements with his own call for jihad against Zionism.
These offensive statements are made much more dangerous by the regime's recent declarations to defy the world on its nuclear non-proliferation obligations. President Ahmadinejad said in September that Iran is ready "to transfer nuclear know-how to Islamic countries due to their need," and that Iran is prepared to take "the most far reaching steps outside the requirements of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty." The head of Iran's Atomic Organization said this month that "There is no doubt that we have to carry out uranium enrichment." A regime that supports terrorism, violates its obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, fails to fulfill its nuclear commitments, and rejects a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine question cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapons infrastructure.
Words matter, Mr. Secretary-General. The United Nations, and indeed all international organizations, must not accept hateful, anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism as business as usual. Indeed, the comments by the Iranian leaders may be in violation of Articles Two and Six of the United Nations Charter regarding the sovereignty of Member states. We respectfully urge you to use the strength of your leadership as the Secretary-General of the United Nations to marshal the international community against these falsehoods and to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
U.S. Senator Evan Bayh
U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel