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Rudd vows to charge Iran leader but is that possible?

Posted by Atilla89 on October 3, 2007

Normally after reading this piece by Dennis Shanahan, I would be impressed that Labor has managed to get off it’s metaphorical arse and do something about Ahmadinejad. However after reading this and seeing Alexander Downer’s comments on the matter, it is easy to see that Rudd is all bluff and really has no plan beyond it being a political ploy to win more votes. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Labor have grown some balls, but I can’t stand it when it is just a ploy which really won’t do anything. You can read the whole thing here.

In a dramatic lift in diplomatic pressure on a bellicose and defiant Iran, Kevin Rudd has committed a Labor government to take “legal proceedings against President Ahmadinejad on a charge of incitement to genocide”. The Leader of the Opposition said the charge of incitement to genocide “could occur through the International Court of Justice on reference by the UN Security Council” because of Mr Ahmadinejad’s public statements.

“They refer to statements about wiping Israel off the map, questioning whether Zionists are human beings and the recent abhorrent conference that he convened on the veracity of the Holocaust,” Mr Rudd said. “It is strongly arguable that this conduct amounts to incitement to genocide, criminalised under the 1948 genocide convention.”But Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said last night Mr Rudd was knowingly misleading the Australian public and the Jewish community with a “ghastly stunt” that he knew could not be carried out and would only undermine Australia’s diplomatic standing.

Labor has also been previously advised by international prosecutors of difficulties with such a proposal. The ALP has for months been considering the steps against the Iranian President and similar moves against the leadership of Zimbabwe and Burma. Labor foreign affairs spokesman Rob McClelland was recently advised by the International Criminal Court’s special prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampi, of the difficulty of taking such action. Mr Moreno-Ocampi emphasised to Mr McClelland that the ICC wanted to ensure it undertook cases where warrants could be executed and action taken.

Labor’s diplomatic offensive came as Mr Rudd ruled out support for a US military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Asked about US reports that Australia had been briefed on Pentagon plans, the Labor leader said: “The only viable strategy that we can see is diplomacy.”

Yeah, like diplomacy has actually been working…not.

Last night, Mr Downer condemned the plans to charge Mr Ahmadinejad with inciting genocide, telling The Australian that countries only could be taken to the ICJ. Individuals such as Mr Ahmadinejad can only be taken to the International Criminal Court. “To take an individual to the ICC the relevant country has to be a party to the statute of the ICC, but Iran, Zimbabwe and Burma are not. You can only take them to the ICC if the country is not a party and if all five members of the UN Security Council agree,” Mr Downer said. “The reality is there is just no chance of the UN Security Council agreeing to send to the ICC the leadership of Burma, Zimbabwe or President Ahmadinejad.

Now for the interesting part and the real reason why this is just a political ploy by Rudd.

“Mr Rudd knows this, he can’t (take legal action), but he says he will for a political purpose. He just comes up with stunts and the problem is that Australia’s voice will be seen as a voice of stunts.”

Mr Rudd said an Australian-sponsored charge would undermine the President’s international legitimacy and require him to “justify his inflammatory and destabilising posturing and rhetoric”. The Iranian embassy in Canberra was aware of Mr Rudd’s statements but did not comment last night.

One Response to “Rudd vows to charge Iran leader but is that possible?”

  1. Free Burma!
    International Bloggers’ Day for Burma on the 4th of October

    International bloggers are preparing an action to support the peaceful revolution in Burma. We want to set a sign for freedom and show our sympathy for these people who are fighting their cruel regime without weapons. These Bloggers are planning to refrain from posting to their blogs on October 4 and just put up one Banner then, underlined with the words „Free Burma!“.

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