Ban Ki-Moon Congratulates Iranian Fox for Guarding the Hen House?

Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, Iran is now offering to coordinate counter-terrorism activities for us all. At a two-day "counter-terrorism" conference just hosted in Tehran and attended by such eminences as the presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Sudan, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed setting up a secretariat to define terrorism, mobilize forces against it, and -- in the words of a Mehr News Agency dispatch on this endeavor -- "reform colonialist and discriminatory mechanisms prevailing in the world so they incline toward justice" (unofficial short version: more of the Iranian regime's usual "Death to Israel, Death to America," plus, apparently, Death to the U.K.).

The absurdity -- indeed, the monstrosity -- is obvious. Listed by the U.S. State Department as the world's most active state sponsor of terrorism, Iran isn't even bothering to play both ends against the middle.  This "counter-terrorism" farce in Tehran is all about Iran trying to hijack both the concept of terrorism and the fight against it, and, in consummate Orwellian fashion, redefine it for Tehran's usual purposes (Death to America! Death to Israel! Death to the U.K.!). It would take a real fool to buy into this hook, line and sinker.

Enter United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon who, according to Iranian reports of the conference, sent an envoy to dignify this Tehran charade with his thanks and his blessing. Hillel Neuer, executive director of a Geneva-based NGO, UN Watch, has written to Ban, asking him -- if he really did send such a message -- to please retract it. Neuer cited such outrages as Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei opening the Tehran conference with a message denouncing such "satanic powers" as the U.S. and Britain.

All of which raises some big questions about what on earth is going on with the apparently Tehran-loving Ban, who was just "re-elected" to a second five-year term as UN secretary general. According to Iranian news reports, Ban's giddy message of delight over the Tehran conference was delivered by a UN envoy named Muhammad Rafiuddin Shah. He's a Pakistani diplomat who late last year became officer-in-charge of the UN's Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, or CTITF. The CTITF was set up in 2005, as part of the UN's effort to "enhance coordination and coherence of counter-terrorism efforts of the United Nations system." If the work of the CTITF now includes sending Pakistani diplomats to thank terror-sponsoring Iran for utterly perverting the entire concept of counter-terrorism, perhaps it's time the CTITF was dissolved. It seems to have outlived its purpose.

Whatever the full contents of Ban's message (which, as far as I can see, has not yet been posted on the UN web site), the mere act of sending an envoy to dignify this dangerous sham in Tehran leaves us with three basic explanations from which to choose: either Ban is a complete idiot (I doubt that), or he has entirely lost control of UN envoys jet-setting to Iran to speak in his name (possible), or he is involved in some sort of elaborate horse-trading, in which he has perhaps decided it is worth pandering to Tehran to serve some larger purpose -- such as, for instance, his own recent re-election as secretary-general (there is no proof of that, but one might well wonder what kind of deals were necessary for his re-election by acclamation of the entire UN General Assembly).

None of these possibilities are reassuring, especially with President Barack Obama so enamored of the UN that his administration continues to stump for billions in U.S. tax dollars to keep flowing into the institution. If one of Ban's first acts upon being "re-elected" is to confer approval upon the latest dodges of the terror-masters in Tehran, surely it's way past time to re-think American funding for such stunts.

P.S. -- One more question, though by now, should we even bother to ask? What was the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, doing at this UN-blessed terror fest in Tehran? He's been wanted in the Hague for some years now, what with being under indictment by the International Criminal Court.