Roger L. Simon

Annals of the K[ofi]GB

Sergey Lavrov isn’t the only old apparatchik running around the UN these days. Remember Iqbal Riza, Kofi Annan’s onetime chef de cabinet who retired “with very mixed emotions” after allegations, later substantiated by the Volcker commission, that he had shredded several years’ worth of documents relating to the Oil-for-Food investigation?

Well, can you imagine my surprise to find that Riza is back, according to Claudia Rosett and George Russell, working for the United Nations in Kofi’s new pet project the “Alliance for Civilizations” – read the link for what that piece of work is – this even though Riza seems yet more nefarious:

During the Oil-for-Food program itself, as Volcker reported in September, 2005, “Mr. Riza played a greater role than he was willing to state.” According to Volcker, Riza dealt heavily with the graft-riddled program, meeting with Iraqi officials, and routinely handling important Oil-for-Food documents, some pertaining to corruption in the program. During at least the last two years of Oil-for-Food’s seven years in operation, Volcker concluded, Riza – along with Annan and the now departing deputy secretary-general, Louise Frechette – was aware of both the smuggling and kickback schemes of Saddam, but withheld information from the U.N. Security Council.

And yet he’s back! How could Kofi be so brazen? … Well, you don’t have to be a crime writer to figure that one out. Riza has more on Kofi than even Kojo has. Why would the old chef de cabinet not be back?