The exiled son of the toppled shah of Iran said Thursday he plans to ask the United Nations to bring Iran's supreme leader before the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.
Reza Pahlavi is among exiles working for regime change in Iran. He said at a Paris news conference that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei must be held responsible for the executions, jailing and torture of political dissidents.
Pahlavi said he will submit a complaint about Khamenei to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members along with a report of the cleric's alleged crimes that will be constantly updated.
Pahlavi's father, the late Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, was ousted in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that installed a clerical hierarchy. The ultimate leader of the government running the country now is Khamenei.
Iran has not ratified the Rome statute that established the International Criminal Court, the world's permanent war crimes tribunal, known as the ICC. It is therefore not subject to the court's jurisdiction _ unless the Security Council decides to step in and refer Iran to the court as it did in the case of Libya.
ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, asked about Pahlavi's announcement, said "citizens around the world are learning to request the court's intervention."
"In this sense, I think it's great to show people who are looking for justice. Now they know how to do it. We are providing a new institution to the world, to make the world better," Ocampo told a news conference in New York.