BOSTON – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to address the U.N. General Assembly next week, but instead should be greeted "with an indictment under the Genocide Convention," Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney said Monday.
"The Iranian regime under President Ahmadinejad has spoken openly about wiping Israel off the map, has fueled Hezbollah's terror campaign in the region and around the world and defied the world community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons -- capabilities that make these threats even more ominous," Romney said in a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon posted on his campaign Web site, www.mittromney.com.
In New York, Romney told reporters: "I think the invitatiom should be withdrawn. I think instead, Ahmadinejad should be indicted under the Genocide Convention."
Romney routinely talks about the threat the United States faced from "radical jihadists," and he has staked out a hard-line position against Iran in particular.
In January, he called for economic sanctions against the Central Asian nation "at least as severe" as those imposed on South Africa during its apartheid era, aiming to isolate the country and convince it to give up its pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
Last September, while still serving as governor of Massachusetts, Romney ordered all state agencies to refuse any assistance if requested when the former president of Iran visited Massachusetts. Romney said Mohammed Khatami oversaw torture and the murder of dissidents, as well as Iran's secret nuclear program, while in office from 1997 to 2005.
"State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel," Romney said at the time.
Opponents of the current Iranian regime including Nobel Prize Winner Elie Wiesel and Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz have previously called for Iran's explusion from the United Nations.