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Calling on United Nations Security Council to Charge Iranian President with Certain Violations Because of His Calls for Destruction of Israel

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



(Mr. PENCE asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. PENCE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished ranking member for yielding and for her extraordinary leadership on that area of the world about which I have some responsibilities as the ranking Republican on the Middle East Subcommittee.

And like the gentlelady from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), I too wish to congratulate the principal author of H. Con. Res. 21. There is no greater or more eloquent advocate for that precious relationship between the free peoples of the United States of America and Israel than Congressman Steve Rothman of New Jersey. And I commend the gentleman for his leadership on this measure and would echo the gentlelady's remarks about the force and eloquence of his presentation. And I will not seek to emulate that today, nor compete with it.

But I will take a moment, Mr. Speaker, to reflect on the importance of this resolution and the facts and the wisdom underpinning the need for Congress to be heard on the issue of calling on the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the U.N. charter because of his calls for the destruction of the state of Israel.

The United Nations, in a very real sense, was formed when history failed. History and the international institutions on the planet failed to prevent barbaric action by fascist Nazi and Axis powers against the free world. And in every sense, genocide, the genocide that we saw perpetrated by the Germans against indigenous Jewish people and other ethnic populations, the genocide perpetrated by certain Japanese forces on mainland China, was part and parcel of the reason for the formation of the United Nations. And therefore the United Nations charter and the aforementioned Treaty on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide are all tied up one with another.

And so for this Congress, as the legislature of that nation which sits on the Security Council, to call on the United Nations to live up to its historic commitment to prevent and confront genocide is, as we say in Indiana, not a stretch. This is at the very essence of what the United Nations was created to do, and the need for action by the United Nations Security Council when one considers the facts in this case truly speak for themselves. And let me lay those facts out.

The 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, commonly known as the Genocide Convention, defines genocide as, among other things, ``the act of killing members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with the intent to destroy in whole or in part the targeted group.''

Now, let's see if some of the statements by the leadership of the nation of Iran against the people of Israel qualify as calling upon the act of killing members of a national, ethnic, racial or religious group with the intent to destroy in whole or in part that group.

Also, the Genocide Convention bans the conspiracy or incitement to commit genocide and states that violators shall be punished ``whether constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals.''

133 member states of the U.N. have ratified the Genocide Convention, including Iran.

Article II, section 4 of the U.N. charter, also to which Iran has agreed, requires all member states of the United Nations ``to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.''

Now, let's get to the facts because that's what the U.N. requires, that's what the treaty requires, that's what the Genocide Convention requires, that's what the U.N. charter requires.

Well, let's start with October 26, 2005. Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called for Israel to be ``wiped off the map,'' and described Israel as a ``disgraceful blot on the face of the Islamic world,'' and declared that ``anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury.''

12 December 2006, that same leader, Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, addressed a Holocaust Denial Conference in Tehran and said that Israel would ``soon be wiped out.''

15 December 2000, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamene'i stated that ``Iran's stance has always been clear on this ugly phenomenon'' referring to Israel as the ugly phenomenon. He went on to say, ``We have repeatedly said that this cancerous tumor of a state should be removed from the region.''

Iran, as we know, has aggressively pursued a clandestine effort to arm itself with nuclear weapons. Iran funds, trains and supports terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, which have murdered Americans, Israelis and non-Israeli Jews, and seeks to destroy Israel.

14 December 2001, the President of Iran's Expediency Council and former leader of Iran, Ali Rafsanjani, threatened Israel with nuclear destruction saying, and I quote, ``if one day the Islamic world is also equipped with weapons like those that Israel now possesses, then the imperialist strategy will reach a standstill because the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything, while it will merely harm the Islamic world.''

Men and women, these are comments made by the leaders of a sovereign nation that is in a headlong pursuit to obtain nuclear weapons, and has, by international consensus, already obtained missile technology that could deliver such weapons within the theater of the Middle East.

History teaches no truth more clearly than this: nations should take tyrants at their word. For the United States of America to fail to call on the institution of the United Nations to take the tyrants in Iran at their word would be a grievous historical error and one for which future generations of Americans like those injured soldiers that I toured through the Capitol earlier this afternoon will likely have to pay.

This resolution, authored by Mr. Rothman from New Jersey and Mr. Kirk from Illinois, strongly condemns Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's offensive remarks, contemptible statements, and reprehensible policies directed at the destruction of Israel; calls on the United Nation's Security Council to take up charges against Ahmadinejad for violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and article II, section 4 of the United Nations charter.

It also calls on the Security Council and all member states of the United Nations to consider stronger measures to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, which would both be in violation of nuclear non-proliferation treaties and give them the potential to eliminate Israel.

And it reaffirms, of course, the unwavering strategic partnership and close friendship between the United States and Israel, and reasserts the steadfast commitment of the United States to defend the right of Israel to exist as a free and democratic and Jewish state.

The time for this resolution has come. I commend the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Rothman) for his bold leadership, and I pledge my strong support and urge all of my colleagues to make this strong and deafening statement that this Congress and this Nation will take tyrants at their word, and we will call on the United Nations today to live up to their charter.


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