AJC: Washington Post Editorial Laudably Calls for UN Secretary General to Skip Iran Conference

August 15, 2012 – New York – The Washington Post, one of the nation's most influential newspapers, is "spot on" in urging UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to boycott the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Iran.

"By attending the Tehran conference, Mr. Ban will dignify a bacchanal of nonsense, undermine the work of the Security Council and probably get nothing in return," concluded an editorial in today's paper.

The editors pointed out that Iran has ignored UN Security Council resolutions on its nuclear program, actively seeks to circumvent international sanctions, continues to supply weapons to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and spews vile hatred towards Israel and Jews.

If the UN chief does indeed decide to attend the NAM summit, "Mr. Ban will be forced to endure public lectures from the Iranian leaders about their right to enrich uranium, and rants threatening to wipe Israel off the map," the Washington Post observed. "The conference promises to be a festival of resistance to the United States, the United Nations Security Council and Israel."

AJC Executive Director David Harris urged policymakers and foreign governments to heed the clarion call of the Washington Post editorial board.

"We believe that Secretary General Ban is best served by not traveling to Iran and giving Iranian leaders the photo-op they crave," said Harris. "The strongest message he can send to a regime that flouts UN resolutions on its nuclear program, calls for the genocidal annihilation of a UN member state, Israel, and abets Assad's crimes against humanity, is to stay away. That message, no doubt, will be heard loud and clear in Tehran."

AJC wrote to the UN Secretary General last week, asking him not to attend the Tehran conference, which takes place from August 26 to 31.

"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 President Robert Elman and Executive Director David Harris said in their August 8 letter to the Secretary General.

AJC also sent letters to the leaders of more than 100 NAM member states, urging them to reject the Iranian invitations.

"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," Harris said in a Voice of America interview.