New York, NY – Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) spoke at a press conference and rally organized in Manhattan’s Turtle Bay neighborhood by Iran180, a coalition of organizations and advocates dedicated to reforming Iran’s current government, whose President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will be speaking at the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow. (A photograph of Representative Maloney speaking at the event is attached.)
The following are Congresswoman Maloney’s remarks:
“Thanks to Iran180 for bring us together, once again, to denounce the presence of Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations.
“In the last year, Iran has grown ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon – we’re no longer talking about ‘if’ – instead we’re wondering ‘when’.
“And just last week, Iran’s vice president and head of its nuclear program admitted in an interview given to Al-Hayat that Iran gave foreign officials misleading facts about the state of their nuclear progress.
“The U.N. was established as a forum for peace. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly set the stage for war:
- Sponsoring terrorism around the world;
- Abusing human rights;
- Killing tens of thousands of his own people;
- Propping up the corrupt Assad regime in Syria; and
- Rushing to develop nuclear weapons.
“Ahmadinejad’s threats against Israel have been clear: he sponsored a ‘World Without Zionism’ conference in Tehran in 2005 at which he said, ‘anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury.’ At a conference he sponsored to deny the Holocaust in 2006, he said Israel would `soon be wiped out’. And just last month on Jerusalem Day he threatened to eradicate all Jews from Palestinian land, saying, ‘Even if one cell of them is left in one inch of (Palestinian) land, in the future this story (of Israel’s existence) will repeat.’
“We have learned the lessons of World War II – when a tyrant threatens destruction, when he acquires the means to carry out his threats, when he dehumanizes his enemy, and when he repeatedly sends terrorists to kill innocent men, women and children, he is embarking on a path of genocide.
“We know that Israel will defend itself and that Jerusalem is and will always be the capital of Israel.
“Congress has repeatedly condemned and sanctioned Iran – and on June 20, 2007, the House of Representatives voted to call on the United Nations Security Council to charge Ahmadinejad
with violating the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his calls for the destruction of the State of Israel.
“Ahmadinejad is the embodiment of all that the United Nations was intended to prevent: a sponsor of terrorism, a denier of the Holocaust, the leader of a regime that is determined to destabilize the region by building nuclear weapons, a tyrant who has murdered thousands of his own people and a madman who has threatened the existence of a U.N.-member nation, Israel.
“Not only has he called for the destruction of Israel, he is rapidly acquiring the means to do so.
“He has violated international law by calling for the destruction of Israel and he has violated human decency by continuing to build weapons of mass destruction.
“I hope the members of the U.N. will let Iran’s leader know that he is UNwelcome in a building built for peace.”