TEHRAN, July 14 (MNA) -- The U.S. State Department has asked the International Criminal Court at The Hague to issue an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, which, if issued, would set a dangerous legal precedent for international relations since it would be the first time the ICC tried a sitting head of state.

ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo is set to ask the court to issue a warrant for the Sudanese president’s arrest on Monday based on the allegation that he is guilty of war crimes in Darfur.


Al-Bashir is the president of Sudan, who acts based on his legal duties, and the ICC has no right to interfere in the internal affairs of his country.


The Darfur conflict became a hot issue for the Sudanese government in 2003 due to certain regional and international developments.


The Darfur residents had lived peacefully under the central government for many decades and never thought about seceding from Sudan, but interference by certain neighbors and extra-regional powers like the U.S. and Britain ignited a fire in western Sudan.


The ethnic diversity of western Sudan provided fertile ground for the creation of a very volatile situation, and thus the neocolonialist powers found a pretext to pressure Khartoum.


Arms shipments to Darfur by Britain and the United States, which were made to spark a civil war, created a very complex situation for the central government, and Khartoum invited the Arab League and the African Union to various conferences to find a solution to the Darfur crisis.


However, since the U.S. and Britain have been pursuing a partition policy in regard to Sudan, they torpedoed all agreements reached at the conferences.


The conflict in the Darfur region has halted all Sudan’s development projects and created a severe economic downturn in the country, despite its great potential, especially in the agricultural sector.


Britain and the United States fanned the flames of war in southern and western Sudan with the goal of eventually partitioning the country into three states to facilitate the Zionist regime’s efforts to establish a presence in the Upper Nile region and Ethiopia.


The Sudanese government had long warned about the Zionist regime’s plots in Africa, and especially in Ethiopia.


Sudan’s vigilance about the Western and Zionist plots prompted the extra-regional powers to employ a variety of methods to isolate the Khartoum government.


Foreign powers put pressure on Sudan to allow the UN and the African Union to deploy peacekeeping forces in Darfur, ostensibly to protect the residents.


To show its goodwill, Sudan finally agreed to allow foreign troops to enter its soil. However, the West, and particularly the United States, has been undermining the government’s efforts to rebuild the areas devastated by the war.


And now Washington has begun pressuring the ICC to issue an arrest warrant for the legitimate president of Sudan.


Since the court is only authorized to investigate war crimes, it should try war criminals like U.S. President George W. Bush, former British prime minister Tony Blair, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the war crimes they have committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Lebanon.


ICC officials are allowing the U.S. to use the organization as a tool for the implementation of its policies, and thus the ICC has no authority to issue an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president.


In fact, the United States never signed the treaty which established the International Criminal Court and has warned that it will take action against any country that tries to extradite a U.S. citizen to the ICC, which shows the hypocrisy of the latest U.S. moves.


(July 14 Tehran Times Opinion Column, by Hassan Hanizadeh)





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