Rep. Israel Calls for Ahmadinejad's Arrest on 'Incitement to Genocide' Charges
New York Rep. Steve Israel called for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to be arrested and tried for "incitement to genocide" following the Iranian president's speech Monday at the United Nations in which he tried to vilify the United States and its allies.
The Democratic congressman argued that Ahmadinejad's past calls for the destruction of the state of Israel -- specifically his call in 2005 for Israel to be "wiped off the map" -- constitute a violation of the United Nations' genocide convention.
"Incitement to genocide is a punishable act and instead of giving him another platform at the U.N., he should be tried," the congressman said in a written statement.
Calls for Ahmadinejad to be hauled before an international court are not new. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2007 calling for the U.N. Security Council to charge him. Israeli diplomats have called for similar charges.
But so far, no action has been taken, though Rep. Israel cited as precedent genocide charges brought against participants in the Rwandan genocide.
Ahmadinejad's visit to New York City Monday was not greeted warmly by New York's elected officials. Aside from Rep. Israel's statement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., joined other state officials in declaring Iran's attendance a "sham."