Iranian president calls for war crimes charges on US

Iran’s new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is ratcheting it up another notch in Iran’s tactical war of rhetoric against pressure from the U.S. and the international community. He is further underlining the strong stance his country has laid out concerning their “right” to pursue nuclear activities which they say are for peaceful, energy-producing purposes.

In this reported speech, he takes things a step further, and accuses the U.S. of war crimes for its use of depleted uranium (DU) weaponry in Iraq. He also makes a case that the U.S. is hypocritical to pressure Iran on its nuclear activities when we are “developing and testing (nuclear weapons) every day”, and using depleted nuclear materials in our shells in Iraq.

Regardless of how defenders of America might counter those points, what really matters in this speech is how opposers of America might feel about those points. For Ahmadinejad to play his strategic position for all its worth (assuming Iran is trying to lure the U.S. into conflict) he is going to want to rally the leaders and people of countries in the world who will sympathize with Iran’s position– and who see the U.S. as the hypocritcal, war-criminal, “lords of the world”, to use his phrase. And he’ll also want to help his own people strengthen their will to stand up against whatever pressures may come.

And, of course, he’s also getting tougher with the U.S. (as Iran has been doing more and more lately), by calling for war crimes charges.

If Iran isn’t trying to trap the U.S. into a war it might not be able to handle, then at the very least, they are saying, “If you want a showdown, we will be more than happy to give you one.”

And regardless of whether America wants a showdown or not, our long-established position on and suspicion of Iran essentially dictates that we press forward, insisting that Iran comply, or else.

The number of scenarios where this turns out well seems to be going down rapidly.

Iranian president calls for war crimes charges on US

26/11/2005 – 13:57:23

Iran’s hard-line president called for the Bush administration to be tried on war crimes charges related to Iraq and denounced the West for its stance on Iran’s controversial nuclear programme, state-run television reported today.

“You, who have used nuclear weapons against innocent people, who have used uranium ordnance in Iraq should be tried as war criminals in courts,? Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an apparent reference to the US.

Ahmadinejad didn’t elaborate, but he was apparently referring to the US military’s use of artillery shells packed with depleted uranium, which is far less radioactive than natural uranium and is left over from the process of enriching uranium for use as nuclear fuel.

Since the 2003 start of the Iraq war, US forces have reportedly fired at least 120 tons of shells packed with depleted uranium, which is an extremely dense material used by the US and British militaries for tank armour and armour-piercing weapons. Once fired, the shells melt, vaporise and turn to dust.

“Who in the world are you to accuse Iran of suspicious nuclear armed activity?? asked the Iranian president during a nationally televised ceremony marking the 36th anniversary of the establishment of the volunteer Basij paramilitary force.

Iran has been under intense pressure to curb its nuclear programme, which the US claims is part of an effort to produce nuclear weapons. Iran denies such claims and says its nuclear programme is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. But it insists that it has the right to develop its nuclear programme, including enrichment of nuclear fuel.

On Thursday, the 35-board members of the International Atomic Energy Agency met on Iran’s nuclear file after the US and Europe warned of UN Security Council action, accusing Iran of having documents that show how to produce parts of nuclear warheads.

Iran has temporarily stopped its enrichment programme, but negotiations between it and Britain, France and Germany broke off in August after Tehran unfroze another part of its programme – the conversion of raw uranium into the gas that is used as the feeder stock in enrichment.

Iran has also rejected European calls to halt work at its uranium conversion facility near city of Isfahan in central Iran.

Ahmadinejad rejected Western concerns over his country’s nuclear programme.

“They say Iran has to stop its peaceful nuclear activity since there is a probability of diversion while we are sure that they are developing and testing (nuclear weapons) every day,? Ahmadinejad said.

“They speak as if they are the lords of the world.?

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