The Responsibility to Prevent Coalition – which includes prominent politicians and human rights activists, and is chaired by Canadian Parliamentarian and former Justice Minister Irwin Cotler – issued a report on June 22, entitled “The Danger of a Nuclear, Genocidal, and Rights-Violating Iran.” The publication argues that “Iran has already committed the crime of incitement to genocide prohibited by the Genocide Convention,” in particular because of President Ahmadinejad’s comments about destroying Israel. At a press conference (July 13, 2010), Cotler noted that international law obligates states to oppose the incitement to genocide through sanctions and complaints to the International Court of Justice.
Although international human rights NGOs such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch (HRW) to some degree respond to Iranian government repression and internal abuses, these groups ignore antisemitism and genocidal threats from the regime. In an interview with The New Republic’s Benjamin Birnbaum (April 27, 2010), HRW’s Kenneth Roth “quibbled” about whether Ahmadinejad threatened to “wipe [Israel] off the map,” and claimed that HRW examines “how the government wages the war,” but not the aggressive rhetoric that instigates it. However, this attitude prevents NGOs from playing a role in preventing genocide before it occurs, as some have noted about Amnesty’s approach to the Khmer Rouge.