The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a resolution condemning the statement by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel.
Since the Iranian president's statement, members of Congress have come out individually to condemn the remarks, in which President Ahmadinejad said the state of Israel should, in his words, be wiped off the map.
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted unanimously 383-0 to condemn what a resolution called the outrageous and despicable threats of the Iranian president against Israel.
The action took the form of a sense of the House resolution, which is not legally binding.
Republican Congressman Henry Hyde, chairman of the International Relations Committee, used remarks on the floor of the House to warn that the Iranian leader's statement will only serve to deepen the isolation of Iranians, and Muslims in general. "Iranians in particular have had enough of the intellectual, economic and spiritual poverty imposed on them by their un-elected or nominally-elected officials. That poverty will only deepen as Iran finds itself isolated by the sort of rhetoric spouted by President Ahmadinejad," he said.
The House resolution urges the United Nations Security Council and all nations to reject the Iranian leader's statement, and condemn Iran for statements and policies aimed at Israel's destruction.
Congressman Tom Lantos, top Democrat on the House committee, called the Iranian president's remarks the most repugnant since Adolf Hitler. "I call on the United Nations, all civilized nations, to take appropriate action in the UN and individually, denouncing this outrageous statement. There is no room for the president of a nation to call for the destruction of a member state of the United Nations, a Democratic ally of the United States," he said.
Lawmaker's harsh condemnations of the Iranian president's remarks come as impatience in Congress grows over Iran's nuclear development programs, amid anger over what many believe is Teheran's ongoing support for terrorism.
It also coincides with strong support in Congress for efforts to counter anti-Israel and anti-Semitic actions in the United Nations.
Legislation proposed in the House would impose mandatory sanctions on persons or entities helping Iran acquire or develop weapons of mass destruction or destabilizing conventional arms.
The bill, sponsored by the Republican chairwoman of the House Middle East Subcommittee, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, has the support of 323 members of the 435-member House of Representatives, and 31 U.S. Senate.
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