The Rosett Report

Iran, UN Authority on 'Violent Extremism'

The United Nations has yet to agree on a definition of terrorism. That makes it especially problematic for the UN to actually do much about terrorist groups, or UN member states that happen to sponsor them. But when it comes to homing in on “violent extremism,” the UN is on the case,  led this month by — of course — Iran. With a nod from the U.S.

Earlier this month, Iran introduced a resolution in the General Assembly on “A world against violence and violent extremism.” Coming from a country that the U.S. State Department has called the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, this was one of many resolutions the UN ought to file in a titanic trash bin labeled “Orwell Out-Takes.” Instead, the General Assembly on Dec. 18 approved it by consensus. That tells us the U.S., erstwhile leader of the free world, did not even call for a vote. Thus did Iran’s PressTV trumpet Iran’s success in persuading the UN, “overwhelmingly… to adopt a resolution based on President Hassan Rouhani’s proposals for a World Against Violent Extremism (WAVE).”

To be fair, while not actually making any attempt to vote against the resolution, the U.S. delegate did make a statement (scroll down to page 5). The UN’s notes on the meeting record that the U.S. delegate protested “the clear resurgence in recent years of Iran’s State-sponsored terrorism” and said Iran “must halt” this behavior. But that formulation out of the way, the U.S. delegate went on to say that Iran’s President Rouhani had outlined “peaceful aims” at the UN in September, and that the U.S. hoped that “his vision would soon be reflected in practical steps.”

Iran is taking practical steps, for sure — but not towards peace. These steps in recent weeks have included such moves as insisting on the “inalienable right” to enrich uranium, which ordinary mortals dwelling outside the diplomatic bubble might reasonably construe as yet another step toward nuclear weapons, by the world’s leading state sponsor of violent extremism terrorism.

In a similar vein, this Iran-sponsored UN resolution itself is a practical step in a profoundly troubling direction. Not only does it dignify Iran’s hypocrisy with the unanimous consent of the General Assembly. Amid a lot of blather about peace and mutual respect (this from the regime of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America”), there is a clause that simply uncouples terrorism from any specific sponsor or source. This is a resolution that calls for:

Reaffirming that violent extremism, in all its forms and manifestations, cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group…

What does that mean in practice? In the alternate universe of this Rouhani-flavored resolution, terrorism — “in all its forms and manifestations” — exists only as some atomized activity, not to be associated, for instance, with any particular country, or any background of any kind. By lights of this resolution, that would reflect “intolerance.” How very convenient a formulation for Iran’s regime, world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism. How very dangerous for America and its allies to wave this along. How very…tolerant.