Thursday, June 25, 2009

If You Thought The US Was Too Quiet About Iran--Where's The UN?

Claudia Rosett has noticed:
Iran's regime is already in gross violation of a series of U.N. sanctions over a nuclear program the U.N. Security Council deems a threat to international peace. The same regime has now loosed its security apparatus of trained thugs and snipers on Iranians who have been, in huge numbers, demanding their basic rights. Surely top U.N. officials such as Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon should be leading the charge for liberty and justice, with the strongest possible criticism and measures against the Iranian regime.
So what has the UN done?
On June 15, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said he was "closely following the situation" and had "taken note of the instruction by the religious leaders that there should be an investigation into this issue."

On June 16, He said he had "taken note ... very closely following ... just seeing how the situation will develop."

And it is not as if Ban did not have the opportunity to make a difference:
He sent a message to a meeting in Yekaterinburg, Russia, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was attending as an observer, having briefly decamped from the upheaval that his own Ayatollah-blessed, irregularity-fraught "re-election" had sparked in Iran.

To this gathering in Russia, where Ahmadinejad posed for the cameras among a lineup of heads of state, Ban dispatched a message full of buzzwords about poverty, climate change and "combined commitment to a peaceful and prosperous common future." He made no mention of the "situation" in Iran. [emphasis added]
Even after the violence in Iran was obvious, and the world discovered who Neda Agha-Soltan was, Ban was too busy to comment--busy in Birmingham, England, accepting an award at a Rotary International Convention.

On June 22, during the regular noon press briefing:
Ban's spokeswoman, Michele Montas, delivered a long list of announcements, replete with notices of assorted public service awards, and of the demise of a man who served from 1976 to 1981 as the spokesman for former U.N. Secretary General Kurt Waldheim. There was nothing on Iran.
When asked afterwards if Ban had anything to say about what was happening in Iran, Montas said he was working on a statement.

When that statement finally materialized, it was all of one paragraph, "attributable to the Secretary General." In reaction to the violence unleashed against the protesters, the best that Ban could muster was that he was following the situation with "growing concern," and was "dismayed" by the violence.

Imagine: there actually is a leader who has managed to come out with a response more tepid than Obama.

Other than Ban, what are the other agencies in the UN doing?

Rosett runs down the list--

U.N. high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay was quoted as having "expressed concern" and noted that "the legal basis of the arrests that have been taking place, especially those of human rights defenders and political activists, is not clear." No word on the shooting of the protesters.

In the Security Council, "according to a Western diplomat connected with the Security Council, 'Iran is not being discussed at the council right now.'"

The General Assembly is led by the current president of the Assembly is Nicaragua's Miguel D'Escoto Brockman, who is a former Sandinista and a friend of Tehran, who made a trip there paid for by Iran.

Read the whole thing.

If in the end, the protesters achieve any kind of success--it will due entirely to their own actions.
At this point, the US and the UN offer nothing.

More at Memeorandum

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