Farce: Iran Assumes Presidency of UN Disarmament Group

You’d better sit down before you read this.

Later this month, Iran will assume the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament.

Yes, Iran, which has been subjected to six UN Security Council resolutions since 2006 demanding that the nation disarm by suspending its nuclear-weapons development program.

Iran, which provides copious advanced weaponry to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as he slaughters his own people—as well as to both Hezbollah and Hamas, groups many nations have designated as state sponsors of terror.

United Nations officials insist that Iran’s presidency is merely the result of an automatic rotation. But doesn’t anyone at the UN give even a thought to the world body’s credibility—already stretched as thin as it could be?

After all, sitting on the UN Human Rights Council right now are Venezuela, Cuba, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and China. Among the council’s officers is Richard Falk, “special rapporteur” for the Palestinians.

Late last month he caused a storm of criticism when he wrote on his personal blog that victims of the Boston Marathon bombing had it coming because the United States is “a menace to the world and to itself.” He added: “Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden’s haunting line: ‘Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return’?” After all, “how many canaries will have to die before we awaken from our geopolitical fantasy of global domination?”

This brought angry condemnation from numerous UN officials including Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. And the Falk incident had barely faded from public discussion before the announcement of Iran’s appointment.

The United Nations calls the Conference on Disarmament the world’s only multilateral disarmament negotiating forum. The conference president organizes the work and helps set the agenda. Imagine what kind of agenda Iran will choose to set once it takes the chair.

In past years, the conference has negotiated several treaties including the one on nonproliferation of weapons. I wonder, might sending rockets, antiaircraft missiles, and other advanced weapons to Syria and Lebanon be considered proliferation?

And won’t Iran use this appointment for self-promotion—insisting that it would have not have been appointed if it were actually guilty of proliferation or nuclear-weapons production? Iran continues to deny any interest in nuclear weaponry, even though experts worldwide point out that enriching large quantities of uranium to 20 percent purity has no other possible purpose.

Since the announcement this week, the United States and Canada have both announced they will boycott the conference during the month Iran directs it.

“Iran’s upcoming rotation as president of the Conference on Disarmament is unfortunate and highly inappropriate,” said Erin Pelton, spokesman for US mission to the UN. “The United States continues to believe that countries that are under Chapter VII sanctions for weapons proliferation or massive human-rights abuses should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in UN bodies.”

And Canada’s ministry of foreign affairs said simply: “This makes a mockery of disarmament issues and the world’s sincere desire to make progress.”

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