The Rosett Report

Can Kofi Annan do Business with Tehran?

As if there isn’t crisis enough in the Middle East, we’ve had Kofi Annan romping around the region for the past week, condemning-Israel-as-usual and assuring us from Damascus that Syria’s regime will keep an eye on Hezbollah (no doubt). Now, having arrived in Tehran, Annan –due to meet tomorrow with President Mahmoud “Mushroom Cloud” Ahmadinejad — has announced that his talks with Iranian officials so far have been “very good and constructive

Where have we heard that before? Recall Annan’s February, 1998 dash to Baghdad, whence he returned to tell the press: “Can I trust Saddam Hussein? I think I can do business with him.”

In that case, Annan’s triumph was supposed to be that he had persuaded UN-sanctioned Saddam to let UN weapons inspectors stay in Iraq. That worked for all of about nine months, at the end of which Saddam in December, 1998 kicked out the weapons inspectors for four solid years — during which Saddam’s regime with the knowledge and complicity of the UN scammed and smuggled for itself close to $17 billion meant for Iraqi relief under the UN’s Oil-for-Food program (which was the main vehicle for Saddam under UN sanctions to rack up at least $21 billion in illicit revenues). Annan’s Secretariat collected close to $1.9 billion in commissions for administering this world-record scam — including $500 million for weapons inspections, even though from late 1998 until late 2002 there were no weapons inspections.

And now — stay tuned for Annan’s UN deal-in-the-works on Iran, where chief nuclear negotiator for the ayatollahs, Ali Larijani, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told the press after meeting Saturday with Annan: “We need to have continuous consultations with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.”