THE FEDERAL Government has backtracked on its election promise to bring Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Before coming to power last November, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd committed to pursuing Ahmadinejad to the International Court because of statements Ahmadinejad made calling for the destruction of Israel and questioning the Holocaust. However, in a statement released last week, Minister for Foreign Affairs Stephen Smith said that the Government had dropped its plans to take international legal action against him.
“The Government, the Attorney-General and I have decided not to pursue international legal action against Iran. In doing so, we recognise the complexity of the issues involved and the high legal threshold required to bring forward such a case. As well, we are determined to avoid pursuing a case which would further give profile to these obscene marks,” Smith said.
Smith also said the Government recognised that the most pressing priority was in relation to Iran’s nuclear program, and that it was concerned that legal action might complicate or distract from efforts by the international community to address this.