Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Grotesque Masquerade

"Iran's current rulers will use your presence to further their own, hateful purposes.  Such a visit would only serve to legitimize and condone the record of this regime, which Canada views as the single most significant risk to global peace and security today.
"Iran's egregious human-rights record denies large segments of the Iranian population even the most basic of rights, while threatening the very existence of one of its neighbours.
"For example, on August 2, 2012, President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad said that, 'anyone who loves freedom and justice must strive for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the way for world justice and freedom'."  John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs

This is part of a letter sent by Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs to the attention of Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations.  It was sent to the Secretary-General a day after the announcement that he meant to accept the invitation to attend the Tehran conference of the Non-Aligned Nations.  Mr. Ban evidently considers the summit as a forum giving him the opportunity to advance "towards solutions on issues that are central to the global agenda".

And those issues would of course, include disarmament and conflict prevention.  Since the very critical issues of disarmament and conflict prevention are those which have seized the attention of the international community relating to the Islamic Republic of Iran's stated and firm intention of achieving nuclear status, with the unstated and covert additional intention of manufacturing fissile nuclear material for the formation of arms, this represents a fairly grotesque interpretation.

Iran presents itself as a country given to peace and harmony, one that is critically misunderstood and unfairly blamed and held to a standard that does not respect its sovereignty.  It consistently refuses inspection entry to the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors while denying it has anything to hide.  The existence of its illicit Fordow nuclear facility was kept secret until it could no longer deny its presence.  Its Parchin military installation where it has tested explosive devices has been placed off limit to IAEA inspectors who believe nuclear tests have taken place there.

Its atrocious record on instigating terror groups to do its proxy bidding, its encouragement of hostilities toward those with whom it disagrees politically, its harassment and abuse of those who defy it, and its constant threats on the international stage against the existence of the State of Israel, where it feels entitled to claim it will wipe the world clear of the presence of Jews in an echo of the Holocaust which it denies ever having taken place, is a testament to its malign presence on the world stage.

Because of its oil wealth and the countries with emerging economies' reliance on Iran's energy, it has influence it would otherwise not have with socially and politically backward countries of the world, many of which are themselves verbally belligerent to the advanced economies of the world, and specially the United States and Israel.  That, under these circumstances, Ban Ki-moon sees his way clear to appear at the Non-Aligned summit is appalling.

He is offering the imprimatur of the United Nations to give credence to the outrageous and false allegations issued by Iran, presenting itself as an innocent, as a force for good in the world, as committed to peace and to disarmament, when nothing could be further from the truth.  He is, by his planned presence, doing honour to evil intentions, even at a time when he is aware that Iran's influence and involvement in the civil war raging in Syria is serving to support that dystopian, vicious regime.

"We fundamentally believe that a visit by the Secretary-General to Iran will only serve to further legitimize the reckless actions of this regime," further emphasized Rick Roth, Mr. Baird's press secretary.  Mr. Baird's formal declaration of support for refusing the request to attend the summit represents Canada's position on the issue.  One that is shared by a number of governments and human-rights bodies.

Iran is under strict economic sanctions from Western nations as a result of its illegal nuclear program.  Its position at this summit where it holds the three-year chairmanship of the movement, is an added effort to manipulate opinion to its side.  These are countries, attending the summit, with membership in the United Nations.  Many would not be sending senior representatives or appearing at all, were it not for the fact that it appears the United Nations, in the person of Ban Ki-moon has approved the event.

The United Nations has also seen fit to continue to include the Islamic Republic of Iran's current regime in diplomatic arenas.  This is not the first time that Foreign Affairs Minister Baird has upbraided the UN for its support of Iran.  Disappointment was expressed by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs at Iran's appointment as a vice-president to the recent UN Arms Trade Treaty conference.  Could anything possibly be more logically perverse?
"[Mr. Baird] is entirely right - it is absolutely outrageous that Ban Ki-moon attend this summit.  If a country like Canada doesn't express its viewpoint on this, then he [Mr. Ban] can say, 'Nobody told me there was a problem with it'.  I think it should be made very clear to him that this is a mistake on his part."  Clifford May, president, Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies

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