Saturday, June 30, 2007

Members of Congress prevent Kucinich from entering translation of Ahmadinejad words into the congressional record

Congress Votes to Send Iran President Before U.N. Court

Office of Congressman Dennis Kucinich

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Natalie Laber (202) 225-5871

No Questions Asked?

Congress Votes to Send the President of Iran Before a United Nation's Court

While Refusing a New York Times Translation of the President's Remarks

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 20, 2007) - Today the House of Representatives passed H. Con.Res.21, a resolution that pressures the United Nations Security Council to charge Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with violating the 1948 Convention on Genocide and the United Nations Charter because of his alleged calls for the destruction of Israel.

"There is reasonable doubt with regard to the accuracy of the translations of President Ahmadinejad's words in this resolution. President Ahmadinejad's speeches can also be translated as a call for regime change, much in the same manner the Bush Administration has called for regime change in Iraq and Iran, making this resolution very ironic," Kucinich said.

Kucinich attempted to insert into the Congressional Record two independent translations of the speech from The New York Times and Middle East Media Research Institute, which contain significant differences in the translations of the speech compared to the resolution before the House. However, Members objected formally and the attempt was blocked.

"When I learned of these translations, I felt obligated to bring it to the attention of the House. It seems that much has been lost in translation. Members have a right to know of the translations and the refusal to permit them to become a part of the Congressional Record does a disservice to Members."

A similar House resolution, H. Res. 523, passed the House two days after the October 26, 2005, speech and before these translations were available. Kucinich supported that resolution in the 109th Congress.

"I am unequivocal in my support for the security and survival of Israel, and I do have serious concerns with the remarks made by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of Iran. But, I object to resolutions that lay the groundwork for an offensive, unprovoked war.

"The resolution passed by the House today sets a dangerous precedent in foreign affairs. A mistranslation could become a cause of war. The United States House may unwittingly be setting the stage for a war with Iran.

"We must make every effort to ascertain the truth because peace in the world may hang in the balance. The only way to definitively know what President Ahmadinejad meant is for the United States to engage in meaningful, diplomatic relations with the country of Iran."