NGO: UN must condemn Iranian incitement to religious hatred
GENEVA, August 5 -- The Geneva-based non-governmental organization UN Watch today sent the following letter appealing for UN chief Ban Ki-moon and human rights commissioner Navi Pillay to condemn the latest incitement to religious hatred and to the elimination of Israel by leaders of Iran and Hezbollah.
His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
New York, NY 10017
August 5, 2013
Dear Mr. Secretary-General,
United Nations Watch expresses its outrage at the latest incitement to hatred by the leaders of Iran. We urge you, together with High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, to condemn these gross violations of the United Nations Charter and of core UN declarations against racism and intolerance.
We call your attention to the following incidents from Friday, 2 August, in connection with "Al Quds Day," a festival of hate created by the late Ayatollah Khomeini:
- The Islamic Republic of Iran organized mass rallies and religious sermons that spewed vitriolic hatred, with state television showing hundreds of thousands marching across the country to chants of "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." (Al Jazeera, 2 August 2013)
- Outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—invoking "God as my witness"—told a mass crowd that a storm would "uproot" Israel, and that the Jewish state "has no place in this region." (Agence France Presse, August 3)
- Then President-elect Hassan Rouhani described Israel as "a sore" that "has afflicted the body of the Islamic world for many years." (BBC, 5 August 2013)
- In Beirut, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Iranian proxy Hezbollah—which is part of the Lebanese government—called Israel a "cancerous gland" that needed to be "excised." He was greeted with ecstatic cheers from the audience. (Lebanon Daily Star, 2 August 2013)
These are not statements by marginal and unknown figures, but televised speeches by senior figures inciting to religious hatred-and specifically to the elimination of a United Nations member state, an illegal threat under international law. As you know, the UN Charter obliges all member states to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. We urge you to speak out.