August 9, 2012 – New York – AJC, the global advocacy organization, is asking UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to reconsider his planned visit to Iran later this month for the Non-Aligned Movement summit.
"We strongly urge you not to participate – and not allow a regime that flouts international law, denies human rights, practices terrorism, and preaches contemptible prejudice to exploit the prestige of the United Nations for its ignoble ends," AJC Executive Director David Harris and President Robert Elman said in a letter to the Secretary General.
The AJC leaders pointed out that Iran has consistently defied the UN Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its nuclear program, brutally violated the human rights of its own population, undermined efforts to promote Middle East peace, employed terrorism worldwide, supported Hezbollah and Hamas terrorism, and contributed to the ongoing barbarism in Syria.
The summit will take place in Tehran from August 26 to 31, with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presiding, and will mark the beginning of Iran's three-year term as NAM chair. NAM membership comprises nearly two-thirds of the UN member states.
The AJC letter stressed that Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the genocidal destruction of Israel, a UN member state since 1949; denied the Holocaust; and sought to incite anti-Jewish hatred. Only last week, Ahmadinejad reiterated clearly his vehement hostility and disregard for international norms.
"His outrageous pronouncements on '400 years' of world domination by 'a horrendous Zionist clan' and on the 'myth' of the Holocaust reveal vile anti-Semitism – and render him unfit to share any platform with respected world leaders," AJC wrote to the world body's leader.
In addition to reaching out to the UN secretary general, AJC sent letters to the foreign ministers of more than 100 countries, encouraging them to reject the invitation.
"What Secretary General Ban ultimately decides will send a direct, critically important, message to the Iranian regime, and no doubt encourage the thinking of other world leaders," said Harris. "The issue is not NAM, which will continue to exist. It's about taking a principled stand, demonstrating moral backbone, and not conferring unwarranted respectability on Iran's defiant leaders."