Australia is preparing to take Iran’s president to the International Court of Justice for “incitement to genocide” and Holocaust denial.
Kevin Rudd made a pre-election pledge in October that a Labor government would use the 1948 genocide convention to take legal action against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for threatening to “wipe Israel off the map.”
“The Iranian president’s repeated extraordinary statements, which are anti-Semitic and expressing a determination to eliminate the modern state of Israel from the map, are appalling by any standards of current international relations,” Rudd told Sky TV on Wednesday. “They are an incitement of international violence.”
Also on Wednesday, The Australian newspaper quoted Attorney General Robert McClelland as saying: “The Government considers the comments made by Iranian President Ahmadinejad, calling for the destruction of Israel and questioning the existence of the Holocaust, to be repugnant and offensive. The Government is currently taking advice on this matter.
“The alternative to not using these international legal mechanisms is considering wholesale invasion of countries, which itself involves, obviously, expense but more relevantly, of course, the potential for significant loss of life,” McClelland said.
Australia is the only country which appears to wish to pursue Ahmadinejad through the international court. According to legal experts, a successful conviction would be difficult to obtain.