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Netanyahu Hopes Ahmadinejad is Brought to Trial

21 January 2007

Israel's opposition leader is calling for the the president of Iran to be brought to trial in an international court. As Robert Berger reports from VOA's Jerusalem bureau, it is the latest sign of deepening concern in Israel over Iran's nuclear program.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he and other Israelis are trying to bring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to trial for incitement to genocide. Netanyahu said Ahmadinejad is an international war criminal because he has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

Speaking at a conference on security, Netanyahu said the 1948 universal declaration of human rights does not just prohibit acts of genocide, but also deals with incitement to genocide. Therefore, he said, the Iranian president should face trial at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

Israel is especially alarmed about Ahmadinejad's threats because of Iran's nuclear program. Israel sees Iran as its greatest strategic threat, and Netanyahu appealed for tougher international sanctions to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Netanyahu called for the world to boycott and isolate Iran in the same way as it did apartheid South Africa.

He said the world that "did not stop the Holocaust last time" must prevent it from happening again.

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