His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
United Nations Secretary-General
United Nations Secretariat
New York, NY 10017
Dear Mr. Secretary General:
We are writing to you regarding press reports that you are considering attending the Non-Aligned Movement’s (NAM) upcoming conference in Tehran. With great respect for you and understanding for your role as Secretary General, nonetheless we are deeply concerned that your presence in the Iranian capital at this time will be counterproductive to the efforts of the international community to bring Iran into compliance with its obligations under the NPT and abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions. If these reports are accurate, we respectfully urge you to decline to attend.
Iran has shown scant respect for the United Nations. It continues to rebuff international efforts, including Security Council resolutions, to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and thumbs its nose at IAEA demands that it permit inspections of the military installations where it is believed the program is based. While the United Nations – including the Secretariat - is urgently seeking ways to stop the bloodshed in Syria, Iran has positioned itself as President Assad’s staunchest champion. Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, uses his annual appearance at the General Assembly to spout extreme condemnations of Jews, Israel, Western governments, and assorted other targets. Last month, at an event marking the U.N. sponsored Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Tehran, Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi blamed Jews for spreading drug addiction and controlling the international illegal drug trade. And, just last week, President Ahmadinejad once again publicly spewed the vilest anti-Semitic rhetoric.
Mr. Secretary General, while we recognize that the NAM bloc is comprised of a large percentage of the U.N.’s member states, we strongly believe Tehran is not an appropriate venue for you to address them.
Abraham H. Foxman