by Samara Greenberg, JewishPolicyCenter
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in the United States yesterday ahead of the United Nations’ 65th Annual General Assembly in New York. Wasting no time, the president granted The Associated Press an hour-long interview in which he said nothing new: “The future belongs to Iran,” Ahmadinejad claimed, challenging the United States to accept that his country will play a major role in the world. The president also insisted that Tehran is pursuing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes and is not interested in building an atomic bomb.
The Iranian president did say something worth noting, however, when speaking to reporters upon his arrival: “We expect the United Nations to fulfill its original role and provide all nations with an equal opportunity to play a role in the management of the world.” Justice cannot be realized unless all nations and governments have a share in the management of the world, he added.
But the United Nations, with all its faults, was not founded on the principle that rogue countries such as Iran should have “a share” in the world’s management. According to Article One of the UN Charter, the purpose of the international organization is “To maintain international peace and security” by taking “effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace….To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples…” and, among other similar goals, “To achieve international co-operation in…promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all…”.
Since the creation of the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979, the country has, in fact, betrayed many of the UN’s goals. By stating Israel should be “wiped off the map,” and by defying the UN with its nuclear program, Iran itself is a threat to peace. Furthermore, the regime has proven that it has no regard for human life and does not believe in equal rights or freedom for all. Iran’s treatment of women and homosexuals as well as the brutal and deadly crackdown following Ahmadinejad’s sham re-election last June attest to that.
And herein lies the crux of the issue: Ahmadinejad’s visit to New York this week makes a mockery of the United Nations and the goals it was established upon. His visit is a slap in the face for all of the convening countries that actually believe in the words written in the UN Charter. Indeed, as the UN turns 65 this year, it’s time the leaders of the world stop giving Ahmadinejad’s Iran a free pass.