For that matter, what a refreshingly sane contrast to the current scene in the U.S., where in the heart of Manhattan Iran maintains a large mission to the UN — and where U.S. taxpayers will again be footing the bill to ensure the safety of Iran’s pro-genocide president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he travels to New York later this month for his eighth consecutive propaganda tour and center-stage rant at the annual opening of the UN General Assembly.
It has long been the position of the U.S. government that however unsavory it may be to have Iranian officials jetting in to New York, and Iranian diplomats nesting in midtown Manhattan, Iran as a member of the UN has full rights to all the usual privileges, immunities and access that come with a UN seat. That has not changed, despite the Iranian regime’s terrorist record, genocidal threats, mockery of UN sanctions and the arrest at JFK airport last year of Iranian-American Mansour Arbabsiar, in connection with an alleged Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington by bombing a popular restaurant — an arrest that dovetailed with Ahmadinejad’s 2011 trip to the annual opening of the UN General Assembly.
Diplomatic courtesies have their place, but they should also have their limits. Iran itself is in flagrant violation not only of UN sanctions, but of the UN charter itself. The U.S. government may place high value on honoring its commitments to the UN, but what happens when a UN member state exploits its seat to monstrous ends? Last I heard, America is still a sovereign state, and it is ultimately America’s decision who gets to visit or reside within our shores. Canada has just stepped up on the side of the Free World, shuttered its embassy in Tehran and told Iran’s regime to get its official tentacles out of Ottawa. A terrific initiative, and the kind of example that other leaders of the Free World would do well to follow.