CALLING ON UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL TO CHARGE IRANIAN PRESIDENT WITH CERTAIN VIOLATIONS BECAUSE OF HIS CALLS FOR DESTRUCTION OF ISRAEL -- (House of Representatives - June 18, 2007)
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H. Con. Res. 21, which denounces the Iranian regime, its belligerent rhetoric and behavior, and urges the international community to hold it accountable and prevent it from achieving its horrific goals.
As the U.S. and our allies attempt to prevent the radical Islamic regime in Iran from developing nuclear capabilities, we should reflect on that regime's vision of the future. While most people desire to live in a world of freedom, of liberty, of prosperity and of peace, Iran's rulers actively seek a world of oppression, of destruction, of war, a world without Israel and without a United States of America.
The Iranian leader Ahmadinejad frequently pushes for Israel's destruction, saying that this sovereign state should be wiped off the map, calling it a disgraceful blot on the face of the Islamic world, as Ambassador Watson pointed out, and proclaiming that anybody who recognized Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic Nation's fury.
On June 3, Ahmadinejad stated, ``With God's help, the countdown button for the destruction of [Israel] has been pushed.'' When Ahmadinejad calls for the destruction of the Jewish state, let us be clear, he is calling for the genocide of Jews. That is why he has continued to cast doubt on the veracity of the Holocaust, calling it a ``myth.''
His despicable comments cheapen the suffering of millions of Jews, desecrate their memory and pave the way for another Holocaust to occur at the hands of Tehran. The Iranian leader does not threaten Jews and Israel, he explicitly threatens our very own existence.
In October of 2005, he asked, ``Is it possible for us to witness a world without America and Zionism. ..... You had best know that this slogan and this goal are attainable, and, surely, can be achieved.''
Mr. Speaker, his words and actions do not merely reflect his own views or those of a few powerless extremists. Iran's Supreme Leader, for example, said, ``This cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region.''
Rafsanjani, the former Iranian leader who continues to hold significant influence, and who some mistakenly call a moderate, has threatened Israel with destruction by nuclear weapons, saying that the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, while it will merely harm the Islamic world.
These are no idle threats, those are not just mere words and rhetoric. Iran continues to sponsor terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah who have murdered scores of Israelis, they have murdered Americans as well, as well as Jews who live outside of Israel, and they have violated Israel's territory, and they continue to hold Israeli soldiers hostage.
The existence of our Nation and Israel are not subject to compromise and the lives of Americans and Israelis are not negotiable.
Indeed, in the wake of the Holocaust, the United Nations was founded to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and to protect the dignity and the worth of every person. The words and deeds of Ahmadinejad and his cohorts violate Article 2, section 4 of the U.N. Charter, which require all U.N. member states to ``refrain ..... from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.''
Their implicit demands for the death of Jews violates the Genocide Convention, which states that those who commit or incite genocide shall be punished, whether they are rulers, government officials or private citizens.
This resolution, offered by my friend and distinguished colleague, Mr. Rothman of New Jersey, and Mr. Kirk of Illinois, calls for the U.N. Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad with violating those binding documents and for the Council to consider stronger measures to prevent Iran from obtaining the nuclear weapons that it could use to threaten and to attack Israel and the world.
Therefore, I strongly urge my colleagues to adopt this very serious resolution and reaffirm our resolve to end the Iranian threat.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, this resolution is calling Ahmadinejad's comments akin to genocide, calling for the destruction of the State of Israel, and calling for the wiping out of millions of people because they are Jews. And I object to having this person's words be placed in the Congressional Record, the record of the United States of America, of the people's House, and I object.
With all due respect to the gentleman, he may object to the resolution and speak against it, but I object to having Ahmadinejad's speech being inserted into the Record at the same time that the gentleman is speaking against this resolution.
So I do object.
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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for asking for this time.
I want to be clear about my objection of putting Ahmadinejad's statements in the Record. Mr. Kucinich has an opportunity, as a Member of this House, to clear up the record, as he has pointed out in his statements, and put in those remarks on his own. I would hate to have Ahmadinejad's statements be included as a part of the record in this part of the debate where we are saying that he is a despot. He is a person who denies the Holocaust existence, who has called for Israel's destruction, and to be mincing about with words and translations, I know the gentleman from Ohio's motives are clear. He is not saying that he is calling for Israel's destruction, but I think that any interpretation of Ahmadinejad's words and deeds would clearly say that that is Ahmadinejad's motives.
So I would not like his statements to be made a part of the record in this part of the discussion, but he, as a Member of Congress, is free to clear the record, as he points out, and put Ahmadinejad's words on his own time in the Congressional Record.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to yield my remaining time to Mr. Rothman.
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