Whatever the Farsi term might be for chutzpah, Iran’s despots put on a staggering display of such stuff this past week. Apparently it wasn’t enough for Tehran that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad flew to New York to provide the opening burlesque on Monday of the United Nations nonproliferation review conference, followed by Ahmadinejad’s usual whirl of interviews and press conferencing in the heart of the Great Satan. On top of that, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki lingered to host a dinner at the plush Manhattan residence of Iran’s ambassador to the UN. And not just any old dinner. This was a dinner for the 15 members of the UN Security Council.
Whoa — let’s hit “pause,” and consider for a moment what that means. With this dinner, Iran designed a gathering that amounted to a shadow version of the UN Security Council — plus Iran itself, in the presiding seat. The members of the Security Council did not have to come. But, with the apparent (and quiet) exceptions of Nigeria and Gabon, they came.
None of them should have come. Iran is in flagrant violation of a series of binding UN sanctions meant to stop its race toward the nuclear bomb. Iran has deceived the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, scoffed at UN Security Council requests, demands and deadlines. And, P.S., according to the U.S. State Department, Iran is the world’s “most active state sponsor of terrorism.” (Terrorism is something the UN has not yet managed to officially define, but it is also something one might hope the Security Council would be against).
But, hey, why should the UN Security Council let Iran’s global terrorist networks and sanctions-violating nuclear program get in the way of a free meal in New York? Apparently forgetting President Barack Obama’s claim that Iran is finding itself increasingly “isolated,” the Obama State Department sent an envoy to Iran’s Manhattan dinner party. So did at least a dozen other members of the Security Council (Inner-City Press reports that Uganda came late, Mexico left early, and Gabon and Nigeria didn’t show up). President Barack Obama’s administration, which sent the number two envoy from the U.S. Mission, saw this Iranian banquet as “an opportunity for Iran to speak to its international obligations” — as one unnamed official told the Washington Post.
Who scripts this U.S. diplo-babble? Iran has been speaking loud and clear to its “international obligations,” and the gist of what Iran’s despots have been saying, and doing, is too rude to print in this space.