Elihu D. Richter: Resolution of Scholars For Peace in the Mid-East: Apply R2P Now: Indict President Ahmadinejad of Iran for Incitement to Genocide, Holocaust Denial and Support for Terror; Increase Sanctions on Iran to Stop Illegal Secret Production of Nu

  • 0

SPME reaffirms its call for an indictment of the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his repeated statements urging the destruction of Israel. Such statements are direct and public incitement to genocide, which are prohibited by the Genocide Convention and is defined by the International Criminal Code as a crime against humanity.[1] The evidence for the case for indictment includes his repeated and openly inflammatory use of hate language and pseudo-medical metaphors (“Israel is vermin, ….a filthy corpse,… a cancer”) and incitement to genocide (“wipe Israel off the map”), his public denial of the Holocaust (a “myth” created by Europeans to justify the creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Islamic world”), and support for Hezbollah and Hamas, terror organizations committed to Israel’s destruction.[2] [3] These actions threaten international peace and security, in violation of Article 99 of the UN Charter.

Hate language and incitement to genocide by a national leader and his accomplices are recognized warning signs of impending genocide. [4] These actions prompted the indictments, prosecution and conviction of Rwandan journalists, radio broadcasters and politicians by the ICT-R and the Supreme Court of Canada. In Iran’s case, this incitement is alarming because it is coupled with terrorist attacks by proxy, a clear and present danger that genocidal acts will be committed-not with machetes, as was the case in Rwanda, but with nuclear-tipped missiles and other WMD. Iran continues to deceive and defy the International Atomic Energy Agency and has ignored four Security Council Resolutions warning it to stop nuclear enrichment. Its government continues to ruthlessly persecute minority religious groups, women, dissidents, and homosexuals, using public executions, stoning, flogging, torture, arbitrary arrests and imprisonment, themselves early warning signs of genocide.

Security Council Resolution 1674 (the Responsibility to Protect) – R2P) – states that protection of human life overrides the sovereignty claims of a state whose actions demonstrate genocidal intent. Governments and the world community have both the right and the responsibility to enforce this principle to prevent genocide, in keeping with the Precautionary Principle (PP). [5] The PP states that when there is uncertainty concerning the occurrence of an event with potentially catastrophic effects on human health and safety, the costs of inaction are usually far greater than actions to prevent its occurrence. [6]

SPME calls upon States and international organizations immediately to do the following:

1. Refer the documentation of hate language and incitement to genocide by Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders to appropriate UN agencies, including the Secretary General, the Security Council and the Human Rights Council. The SC should be referring the evidence to the Special Prosecutor of the ICC for investigation and prosecution. [7] [8]

2. Initiate an inter-state complaint(s) against Iran before the International Court of Justice for direct and public incitement to genocide in violation of the GC, to which Iran is a part.

3. Prepare criminal indictments of Ahmadinejad and his accomplices to be acted upon when they travel outside Iran, based on international principle and precedent and the preparation of international arrest warrants.

4. Quarantine Ahmadinejad and other designated Iranian leaders. Place them on a watch list to prevent their entrance as ‘inadmissible persons”, (as the US did with Kurt Waldheim). SPME condemns permitting his access to podiums to propagate genocidal hate language and incitement. Hate language and incitement to genocide are not protected speech.

5. Apply economic, diplomatic, political sanctions and deadlines and coercive measures via the UN, EU and NATO to ensure enduring compliance with IAEA requirements for inspections, surveillance, and disclosure of all Iranian nuclear facilities and missile delivery systems.

So long as Iran’s leadership pursues its genocidal agenda and ruthlessly suppresses human rights inside its own borders, there is no basis for further delay.


This statement was prepared by Professor Elihu D Richter MD MPH of Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine Genocide Prevention Program, and Genocide Prevention Now, based on material and notes from Professor Irwin Cotler and colleagues from the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He thanks Professors Emily Tall and Ed Beck for helpful comments and editing notes and Richard Hellman and and Dr Dore Gold and Professors Israel Charny and Greg Stanton for work related to the ideas in this resolution.

[1] SPME – Petition to Endorse the Statements of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and the Center for Injury Prevention-Genocide Prevention Program of Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health Recommending Sanctions Against Iranian Leader for Incitement to Commit Genocide and for Development of Nuclear Weapons for Genocidal Implementation June 2006 https://spme.org/cgi-bin/display petitions.cgi?ID=1 t

[2] Gordon, Gregory S., 2007. From Incitement to Indictment? Prosecuting Iran’s President for Advocating Israel’s Destruction and Piecing Together Incitement Law’s Emerging Analytical Framework. – 98 J. Crim. L. & Criminology __ (2008) (forthcoming) (symposium issue with articles by Professors M. Cherif Bassiouni, William Shabas, David Scheffer and Douglas Cassel) available at

[3] Teitelbaum, Joshua, 2008. What Iranian Leaders Really Say about Doing Away with Israel. A refutation of the campaign to excuse Ahmadinejad’s Incitement to Genocide. http://www.jcpa.org/text/ahmadinejad2-words.pdf

[4] Stanton, Gregory H., 1996. The Eight Stages of Genocide http://www.genocidewatch.org/8stages.htm

[5] See www.globalcentrer2p.org/pdf/related/UN1674.pdf

[6] Richter, Elihu D., Laster Richard (with Soskolne, Colin), 2004. The Precautionary Principle, epidemiology and the ethics of delay. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2004;17(1):9-16

[7] HConRes21 http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d110:HC00021:@@@L&summ2=m&

[8] Recommendations of I Cotler, MP & former Attorney General to Foreign Affairs Sub-Committee on Human Rights (Canadian Parliament), http://www.liberal.ca/story_12751_e.aspx

Elihu D. Richter: Resolution of Scholars For Peace in the Mid-East: Apply R2P Now: Indict President Ahmadinejad of Iran for Incitement to Genocide, Holocaust Denial and Support for Terror; Increase Sanctions on Iran to Stop Illegal Secret Production of Nu

  • 0

Elihu D. Richter

Elihu D. Richter heads the Genocide Prevention Program at Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine and is associate director, Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide.

Read all stories by Elihu D. Richter