Ahmadinejad to Address U.N. Conference on Nuclear Proliferation

COMMENTARY Middle East

Ahmadinejad to Address U.N. Conference on Nuclear Proliferation

Apr 30th, 2010 2 min read
COMMENTARY BY
James Phillips

Senior Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation

James Phillips is a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern affairs at The Heritage Foundation.

Although Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has found little time to reciprocate the Obama Administration’s diplomatic engagement efforts, he apparently is eager to engage an international audience at a U.N. forum next week.  He is planning to travel to New York City on Monday to address the U.N. conference reviewing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  This is the same treaty that Iran is subverting by exploiting loopholes to advance its nuclear weapons program.

Ahmadinejad’s appearance will be a major embarrassment for the U.N., which has failed to take decisive action to pressure Iran to comply with its nuclear safeguards obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  The U.N. Security Council has passed three resolutions imposing weak sanctions on Iran, but has failed to agree on western proposals to impose another round of stronger sanctions, despite the fact that Iran again was caught cheating on its obligations under the treaty when it admitted last September that it had started building a secret uranium enrichment plant.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted that Ahmadinejad’s government had failed to address U.N. concerns that Iran was using its civilian nuclear power program as a front for concealing nuclear weapons efforts and stated hopefully: “If he brings some good constructive proposal in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue, that will be helpful.”

But the truculent Ahmadinejad is unlikely to genuinely cooperate in resolving the longstanding standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.  Instead, he is likely to use the U.N. as a platform for denouncing the United States and delivering another smug lecture on the supposed superiority of Iran’s Islamist dictatorship and its enlightened policies, just as he did in 2008.  His continued defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions underscores the weakness of the U.N. in confronting one of the most hazardous threats faced by the world today.

Meanwhile, as Ahmadinejad prepares for his U.N. harangue, his wife yesterday made an unusual charge against the U.N.   She told a conference of Muslim women that “Westerners exploit the U.N. to promote illicit affairs.”  Fortunately for her, she has little to worry about, given her husband’s limited personal appeal.

This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal