NGO urges Ban to distance UN from Iran ‘anti-terror' summit

UN Watch says conference claiming to have UN chief's endorsement attacked US, Britain as having a ‘black record in terrorist behaviors."

By JORDANA HORN JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
June 27, 2011 02:22
2 minute read.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)

NEW YORK – The Geneva-based NGO UN Watch issued a call for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to officially distance the UN from an “anti-terrorism” conference in Iran, which claims to have the UN’s and Ban’s endorsement.

UN Watch’s Executive Director, Hillel Neuer, sent letters to both Ban and US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice regarding the conference, titled “International Conference on Global Fight Against Terrorism,” which took place this past weekend.

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Neuer called the conference “the height of cynicism,” citing Iran’s prominent role in sponsoring and training terrorists from Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad – as well as aiding the Syrian regime in its efforts to suppress current demonstrations against it.

“The opening message by Iranian Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei attacked the United States, Britain and some Western governments, as having a ‘black record in terrorist behaviors,’ ‘satanic world powers,’ and ‘terrorist organizations’ such as the Zionism International Agency,” Neuer’s letter to Ban stated.

Khameni also stated on the conference’s website that “the creation and growth of the wild and blind terrorism is basically the result of the wicked policy of America and England,” and that “it is a duty for all Muslims to confront and fight this inauspicious offspring which is the clear example of corruption on earth and fighting with God.”

The conference’s website shows cartoons depicting, among other provocative images, a bloody fingerprint in the colors of the American flag, as well as the Statue of Liberty holding a stick of dynamite in her iconic hand.

Neuer wrote that his organization was “alarmed” that the homepage of the conference features a UN logo – implying UN sponsorship – but also “appears to have received a special message from you that was read out in person by a UN representative in Tehran.”

The report goes on to say that “Ban thanked the Islamic Republic of Iran for organizing the conference.”

Neuer’s letter expressed concern that both Ban and the UN are being exploited.

“It harms the credibility of the world body, contradicts the principles of the UN Charter, and aids and abets the sponsors of terrorism in their global propaganda,” Neuer wrote. “We urge you to publicly distance yourself and the UN from this shameful conference.”

A spokesperson for the UN gave no comment other than to say that “the UN believes that it is important for all nations to work together in the fight against terrorism.”


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