WASHINGTON — And the jokes poking fun at the United Nations (UN) continues. Iran has been elected to be the chair of the U.N.’s multilateral disarmament forum, a decision that the West vehemently opposes.
The U.N. Conference on Disarmament has been in a constant deadlock for the past 15 years, and although the chair position is symbolic, it is “a high-profile position” according to Reuters.
The U.S. ambassador has already stated that the U.S. will boycott any conference where Iran is conducting affairs as the head of the conference. Iranian spokesman Alireza Miryousefi said that its election to the chair position “is its right in accordance with the established practice and rules of procedure of this organ”.
The U.S., European Union (EU) and other international bodies have put Iran under sanctions for not stopping their nuclear enrichment program, which some worry will lead to an escalation to nuclear war in the volatile Middle East region.
The West have also accused Iran of violating a U.N. embargo on Iran’s arm exports to supply and shore up support for the beleaguered Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Iran has not shied away from this criticism, embracing it and even supplying military forces. One of its military commanders was killed in an attack last year close to the Syria-Lebanon border.
One of the strongest criticisms came from Canada, whose foreign ministry spokesman Rick Roth said, “this makes a mockery of disarmament issues” and that Iran is “subverting the fundamental principles of this committee.”
This does not top the head of U.N. Watch’s remarks about Iran. Hillel Neuer said that putting Iran as the disarmament conference chair is as if the U.N.’s actions are “like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women’s shelter.”
U.N. Watch is a Geneva-based advocacy group that monitors the U.N.