A UN postscript

While the rest of us tuned out of the Iranian production starring Iranian President Hassan Rouhani following Rouhani’s speech before the UN General Assembly last week, Claudia Rosett stayed with it. She notes:

With Iran pushing toward nuclear breakout ability at home, while peddling what some have dubbed “charm” abroad, there were plenty of odd moments as Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani swept through the United Nations in New York last week. But for raw cynicism onstage, it’s hard to top his starring appearance Sept. 26th at the U.N.’s first ever High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament.

This meeting showcased Rouhani not as the face of a terror-sponsoring U.N.-sanctioned nuclear-proliferating regime, but as an authority on ridding the world of nuclear weapons. And not just any old authority, but — in a venue where protocol matters — someone high in the UN pecking order. Among the eight plenary speakers addressing the assembled global eminences, Rouhani got the number three slot in the lineup. He was preceded only by the president of the U.N. General Assembly, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon — who went out of his way to thank the Non-Aligned Movement “that initiated this meeting.” The Non-Aligned Movement, which includes the Palestinian Authority plus 119 of the UN’s 193 member states, is currently chaired by Iran.

In other words, this U.N. nuclear conclave, presenting Iran not as a proliferator but as a patron of nuclear disarmament, was choreographed into existence by Iran itself. “Historic,” is what Rouhani called this event. He’s got that right. Even at the U.N., it’s something new for a country’s president to be headlining a nuclear disarmament summit in the General Assembly’s main chamber while that same country is under four U.N. Security Council sanctions resolutions for its own rogue nuclear ventures.

And that’s not all! Rosett has much more here. And in case you missed it, see also Jeffrey Goldberg’s “Don’t be fooled by Iran’s charming new leader.”


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