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Keep Iran Off the UN Security Council By: Joseph Klein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The United Nations General Assembly will be voting on October 17, 2008 to fill vacancies for the rotating seats on the UN Security Council.  Iran is a candidate, running against Japan for the seat reserved for the Asian bloc.  Uganda is set to take the open African seat, since it is facing no opposition from any other member state in that region.  Mexico is also running uncontested for the Latin American seat.


Iran is a clear and present danger to international peace and security on multiple fronts.  It would be complete insanity to reward this terrorist state with a seat on the Security Council, which it continues to defy to this day.


Uganda, the African region’s unopposed choice for another rotating seat on the Security Council, is a different story.  It has managed to overcome its own bloody history and move toward a democratic form of government.  Along with Mexico, it deserves to be rewarded with a seat on the Security Council.


Fortunately, although Iran has the backing of the powerful 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference and its anti-American allies, their support of the rogue regime may not be enough to garner the two-thirds vote of General Assembly members present that is required to win.  If Iran should somehow slip through and beat Japan, the United States should do everything possible to challenge its qualifications for the seat.


The primary qualification, according to the UN Charter, is “contribution…to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organization.”  Iran, by contrast, has proven to be one of the world’s most serious threats to international peace and security.  As the main source for arms, funding and training to Hezbollah and Hamas, it is a terrorist sponsoring state.  It has threatened to wipe another member-state – Israel – off the face of the earth.  In fact, Iranian President Ahmadinejad vowed to keep supporting the terrorist group Hamas until the "collapse" of Israel. And last, but certainly not least, Iran is a serial violator of Security Council resolutions condemning its nuclear enrichment program.  While Iran continues its nuclear enrichment activities in defiance of the Security Council, it is by definition ineligible for membership and cannot be allowed to undermine the Security Council from within.

To demonstrate just how out of touch with reality the Iranian regime has become, Mohamed Khaza'e, Tehran's top envoy at the UN, said last month that Japan "does not play a significant role in international and political affairs" and should step aside.  Japan, in fact, is the second largest contributor to the United Nations’ budget after the United States.  Japan also demonstrates a clear commitment to international peace and security as well as to human rights, in contrast to Iran’s appalling record. 

While Iran has descended into a psychotic delusional state that belongs nowhere near the Security Council, Uganda is an entirely different story.  It has progressed from the dark days of Idi Amin's eight-year rule during the 1970’s, when more than 100,000 Ugandans were murdered, to the adoption of a multiparty system of government and the subsequent inclusion of opposition parties in elections and government.  In February 2006, the country held its first multiparty general elections in twenty years. The election generally reflected the will of the people.  The current government has largely put an end to the human rights abuses of earlier governments, initiated substantial economic liberalization and general press freedom, and instituted economic reforms in accord with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and donor governments.


Uganda is also a strong supporter of the global war against terrorism.  It knows first hand the devastation caused by a fanatical terrorist cult known as the Lord’s Resistance Army, whose members have raped and mutilated tens of thousands of civilians in Uganda and forcibly recruited an estimated 20,000 children to act as soldiers and sex slaves.  The Lord’s Resistance Army has spread its terror to the Congo, Sudan and the Central African Republic.


A country like Uganda that is fighting terrorism, has emerged from its bloody period and is consolidating peace through the electoral process deserves a seat on the Security Council.


The trouble with current ‘reform’ efforts for increased and more ‘equitable’ representation in the Security Council being pushed by the socialist president of the General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, is that he never mentions any reasonable standards for membership.  Irresponsible countries like Iran are just as welcome in his eyes as countries that are trying to turn themselves around, like Uganda.   When coupled with calls for eliminating the veto power of the five permanent members, it is a bit like giving little children matches to play with.  Opening up more seats without any standards or veto check will enable the newly minted irresponsible members to burn the Security Council down, much as they have done to the UN Human Rights Council.


For those who believe that reform of the Security Council is overdue, here are a couple of modest suggestions.  Expand the non-permanent, rotating membership by admitting five more democracies.  Israel, which has never had a seat on the Security Council despite being a constant target of baseless attacks by Islamic members who are regularly represented, should be one of the first countries added to the expanded membership.  Regional balancing of membership should be sharply curtailed in favor of merit-based selection.  No authoritarian regimes that either threaten their neighbors or support terrorism in any way should be considered eligible for Security Council membership.  The veto power of the current five permanent members should be strengthened to include the right to veto the seating of any such authoritarian states.


Since these suggestions would be dead on arrival at d’Escoto’s General Assembly committees dealing with Security Council ‘reform’, it is better to maintain the status quo.  We also must do everything possible to keep Iran off the Security Council, even if it means withdrawing all financial support from the United Nations to make our point.

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