Ban Ki-Moon refuses pleas from US and Israel not to visit IranIn the New York Post, Benny Avni reports that public pleas from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and private pleas from several US diplomats Susan Rice and Jeffrey Feltman have failed to dissuade UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon from attending a meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran.
So here’s the big question that underlines Netanyahu’s public plea to Ban: If the West’s top diplomats can’t use their tact and talent to convince even the most pro-Western UN chief in memory to keep Iran off his itinerary, how will they ever manage to isolate Iran so completely that the mullahs will quit their most prized pet project?Obviously, Ban should not be going to Iran. But even if he were to stay home, how isolated is Iran if a conference of 120 of the UN's 193 members is being held in Tehran? How many NAM members are not going to show up to that conference? (Answer: None, but 'only' 31 heads of state and 10 foreign ministers are showing up). How many NAM members voted in favor of making Iran the group's chairman?
But the secretary-general still wants to attend this month’s meeting of a strong UN voting bloc, the Non-Allied Movement. Founded during the Cold War, this group remains more “non-aligned” with America than with its adversaries. This year, its 120 members elected Iran to the rotating chairmanship.
More important, they let the Ayatollahs subtly show to their own oppressed citizens that, far from being isolated, they’re a major global player. Thus the “scoop” on Ban’s coming visit first ran in one of the regime’s favorite newspapers, Fars.
For decades, Israel has acted to prevent hostile neighbors from getting atomic weapons. Attacks on nuclear facilities in Iraq (1981) and Syria (2007) were universally condemned, but proved more successful at actually ending nuclear threats than diplomatic treaties, inspection regimes or coordinated sanctions. Now Israel is consumed by a very public debate about whether to similarly treat Iran’s facilities.
That Ban would even consider gracing Tehran with his presence while the regime continues to scoff at its obligations under signed international treaties tells us how likely “diplomatic isolation” is to derail the mullahs’ atomic ambitions.
And will Ban at least have the decency to walk out when keynote speaker Ayatollah Ali Khameni calls for Israel's destruction?