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Iran Grabs a Seat at the UN's High Table -- By Hosting the Dinner

If Obama wants his diplomats to chat with envoys of Iran, the UN affords many opportunities to do so -- without the U.S. Mission helping the Iranian foreign minister replicate the UN Security Council around his dinner table. Iran leads a busy life at the UN, and has lots of personnel running around there to help organize the spending of U.S. taxpayer contributions as the UN sees fit. All you have to do is hang around the stairwells, lounges and meeting chambers, and believe me, Tehran's emissaries will turn up. Iran serves alongside the U.S. on the governing boards of such major UN agencies as UNICEF and the UN Development Program -- both headquartered in New York. Iran will now be engaging in members' business for the UN Commission on the Status of Women, on which Iran -- with no objection from U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice  -- just gained a seat.

Speaking of Ambassador Susan Rice, where is she in all this? It's public knowledge that the U.S. government, courtesy of U.S. tax dollars, provides its ambassador to the UN with a plush and spacious apartment in New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. When Iran sent out invitations to Mottaki's Security Council soiree, surely Rice could have availed herself of her fancy New York digs to host a dinner party of her own, that same night, and invite the 15 members of the Security Council --  without Iran in tow. They could have had a cozy chat about the burgeoning problem of an Iranian government that has learned to exploit the UN in ways deeply at odds with the interests of the free world and the charter of the UN. (Of course there's always the awkward possibility that an Iranian dinner could prove a bigger draw than a concurrent shindig thrown by Ambassador Rice. The upside, however, is that such a showdown could greatly clarify for the American voting public the true character of the UN Security Council).

As it is, Iran -- a nuclear-weapons-seeking tyranny, under UN sanctions -- effectively called an informal meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday evening, took the head chair, and served dinner during the proceedings. The U.S. RSVPed "yes," came knocking at the door, and ate what was served. What's next? Yellowcake for dessert?