Iran was elected Tuesday by United Nations member states to serve as the rapporteur of the UN First Committee on Disarmament and International Security. Iran, which had lobbied for the position for months, also serves as chair of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest bloc of nations at the UN.
The American Jewish Committee expressed its outrage at the development on Wednesday, saying in a statement that “Rewarding Iran for misbehavior is a tragic stain on the UN.”
“The country that today is the number one threat to global security should be the last one to lead UN initiatives on disarmament,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “Iran’s quest for nuclear-weapons capability, its longstanding support for international terrorist groups, its interference in Syria and other Middle East countries, among other military adventures, should have automatically disqualified Iran from such an influential position in the world body.”
The Anti Defamation League also issued a damning statement, calling the appointment “the height of hypocrisy.”
“This action, which comes on a day dominated by the discussion about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and Syria’s use of chemical weapons, represents the height of hypocrisy at the U.N. Iran’s appointment to a leadership role in a body charged with disarmament and counteracting threats to peace is simply unbelievable,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. “The international community’s greatest global challenge is the Iranian regime with its countless violations of international conventions, and threats to peace through its nuclear weapons program and sponsorship of world-wide terrorism.”
“Iran’s election to be the face of the First Committee in the General Assembly only serves to further undermine the U.N.’s credibility,” the ADL concluded.
Iran will now head a committee tasked with handling disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community, while seeking out solutions to challenges in the international security realm.
The First Committee includes all 193 UN member states, and a new rapporteur is elected for each annual session of the UN General Assembly.
“Nonetheless, this should not in any way deter world powers — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. — from standing firm in current negotiations to ensure that Iran comes clean on its nuclear program and dismantles all elements that make possible the building of weapons of mass destruction. Such steps would demonstrate Iran’s own commitment to disarmament,” Harris said.