Condemning Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Threats Against Israel

Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me time.

Mr. Speaker, anyone who held out hope that despite his reputation as a hard liner that Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, would adopt a more statesmanlike posture in office, has been bitterly, tragically, and unequivocally set straight. The Iranian dictator has instead chosen the role of international outlaw.

With his remarks 2 days ago that Israel must be wiped off the map, the Iranian strongman showed utter disregard for human life and for the central principle of the United Nations and the modern international system. Ahmadinejad's outrageous remarks were reinforced today by massive demonstrations in Iran that further threaten to ignite tensions in a volatile region of the world and undermine the fragile Israeli/Palestinian peace negotiations.

What makes Ahmadinejad's remarks all the more disturbing is that they come at a time when Iran is actively pursuing nuclear weapons that could make his harsh rhetoric a reality. How can the world stand by while an outlaw nation attempts to gain nuclear weapons? How can the world stand by while an outlaw nation announces its despotic intentions to annihilate millions of people? Should Iran one day act on its murderous intent, how can the world claim surprise?

As our ranking member, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), points outs, sometimes a madman means exactly what he says. The world must unite to condemn these threats and this episode must stiffen the resolve of Europe and the United Nations to ensure that Tehran will never, never acquire nuclear weapons.

I thank the chairman and the ranking member for the leadership in offering this resolution, and I am proud to sponsor it.