Wednesday, June 17, 2015

As a professor of criminal law for half a century, I can attest to you that the current leaders of Iran are the worst international war criminals of the 21st century. They and their surrogates have murdered. They have blood on their hands of thousands, hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children, from Iran to Iraq to Syria to Yemen to Lebanon to Argentina to Israel.

They are guilty of the war crime of inciting genocide. They have hanged gays, dissidents, Jews and Christians for who they are and what they believe. Any reasonable prosecutor with jurisdiction over their massive crimes and who acts on the principle of the worst first would immediately haul these leaders in front of an international court.

But they are exempt from justice because Iran is not a member of the International Criminal Court. Instead of being indicted for their massive crimes, they are being rewarded by the lifting of sanctions in exchange for hollow promises of postponement of their nuclear weapons ambitions.

The time has come — indeed it is long past — for justice. I propose the convening of an international tribunal of respected scholars, former prosecutors and former judges to investigate and to report on the international crimes of these international criminals. Such a group could be chaired, for example, by the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, (Louisa Campo), or it could be chaired by former Canadian Minister of Justice Irwin Cotler, or by the person we heard tonight, the former attorney general of England, Lord Goldsmith. There are so many people who can serve with distinction on such an international tribunal.

The world must be made aware of the crimes of this regime and of the criminals who now run the wonderful country of Iran. Knowledge is power. Ignorance of evil is complicit in evil. The world must know as a prerequisite for ending the criminality which is the current Iranian leadership.

We who know have a duty to teach. I will not stop teaching and speaking out against this injustice until the criminals who now run Iran are brought to justice.

• Mr. Dershowitz is one of America’s premier criminal defense lawyers and a longtime scholar at Harvard University.

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