(source: CASMII)
Monday, August 20, 2012

The latest statements by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in response to comments made by President Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, in speeches made on the Quds Day ceremony on Friday 16 August, against the Israeli government, are yet another egregious example of double standards towards Iran.

The Secretary General, we are told, has been “dismayed” by these comments which he claims as “threatening Israel’s existence” and which in his view are “offensive and inflammatory”. Yet, as all observers of the Iranian political scene know, the remarks in question are nothing new. They have never expressed more than a hoped for wish for a change in the current regime in Israel, as the Apartheid South Africa changed, and have never carried any implicit or explicit threats of attack. Dozens of UN and UN Security Council resolutions have also criticised Israel for its illegal and often inhumane treatment of Palestinians and even former US President, Jimmy Carter, has condemned the Israeli regime as “worse than Apartheid South Africa”.

In light of the above, the UN Chief’s response to the Iranian leadership’s remarks is not only inappropriate but is riddled with typical double standards. These remarks cannot even begin to compare with the ferocity and frequency of the explicit military threats by Israel and the US against Iran on an almost daily basis. Any effort to conjure up a hysteria and fear based on such feeble grounds is no more than a contrived attempt to further a much bigger agenda involving warfare and regime change in Iran – contrary to international law.

Following public discourse and world public opinion, many have come to the conclusion that politically, the present Secretary-General is not impartial with respect to world developments, and too often gives in to Western pressures. Resolution of world conflicts requires policy and policy makers that embody the legitimacy of independence. Genuine dialogue, realistic and impartial UN policy has much more of a chance of success on the world stage. The perceived impartiality of the Secretary-General may create a crisis of legitimacy.

The UN Chief’s silence in the face of the continuous Israeli and American military threats is deplorable and a poor reflection on his impartiality. His swift condemnation of Iran is in stark contrast to his repeated refusal to offer even the slightest condemnation of such outrages by Israel and America as the assassination of Iran’s nuclear scientists, the cyberwarfare against Iran’s nuclear facilities, the financial and political support of terrorist organisations, the countless other covert and illegal operations inside the country, and not least, the ongoing illegal economic warfare in the shape of gruelling economic sanctions which are creating untold misery for millions of innocent people inside the country. All such actions are in direct violation of the UN Charter and international law and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. No such condemnation to date has been forthcoming.

This failure to act impartially and fairly reveals the extent to which this dereliction of duty in his dealings with member states, as required by his role, brings his own person and his office into disrepute and must give cause for concern to all those who wish to retain their faith in the UN.

In a bid to further isolate Iran on the international stage, Israel and her powerful American Neo-conservative supporters are now pressurising the Secretary General to cancel his attendance at the NAM leadership summit in Tehran at the end of the month and is also encouraging other leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement to do the same. If the Secretary General caves in to this pressure, he will forfeit the legitimacy of his office. This should be a matter of grave concern to all nations which value their independence and sovereignty.

The office of Secretary General needs to be inclusive, impartial to enjoy legitimacy with all the member states. In the past, through their more honourable work, former UN Secretary-Generals such as Dag Hammarskjold, U Thant and Kofi Annan created a far better sense of legitimacy and honourable legacy for the United Nations as a world body. It is vital that the UN Chief adopts a more balanced conduct.

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