UPDATES

The Twilight Zone at the UN

Aug 10, 2011 | Allon Lee

The Twilight Zone at the UN
news_item/twilight-zone-really-work.jpg

“There is a fifth dimension, beyond that which is known to man” may have kicked off each new episode of the Twilight Zone but it can equally be applied to the alternate reality that is the United Nations.

Bizarrely, this week, North Korea assumed the presidency of the UN’s Conference on Disarmament despite being under a sanctions regime for its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea is considered an international pariah for its nuclear weapons testing, support for terrorism, human rights violations, counterfeiting, drug smuggling and missiles and nuclear technology transfers to other unsavoury regimes.

Under UN procedural rules the chair of the Geneva-based conference rotates in alphabetical order among all 65-member states.

North Korea’s chairmanship is even more extraordinary in light of the latest accusations that Pyongyang allegedly sent secret agents to murder South Korea’s defence minister.

Hillel Neuer, director of the NGO UN Watch, condemned North Korea’s chairmanship of the conference:

“No system should tolerate such a fundamental conflict of interests. It’s common sense that a disarmament body should not be headed by the world’s arch-villain on illegal weapons and nuclear proliferation, notorious for exporting missiles and nuclear know-how to fellow rogue regimes around the globe.”

UN Watch, which organised a protest in front of the UN’s Geneva HQ, has a good article on the long history of North Korea’s blatant disregard for international norms.

Meanwhile, Iran, which currently chairs the Organisation of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC) – which sets the prices and production levels of oil – has appointed as its point man Rostam Ghasemi – a man under international sanctions for involvement in the country’s nuclear weapons program.

In a blog post on the development, analyst Barry Rubin writes that Ghasemi “is a senior commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and runs one of its big military-industrial operations. In other words, he makes arms some of which are sent to Iraq to kill Americans.”

As Rubin explains, Iran has few Western investments that may be harmed if it succeeds in ratcheting up oil prices:

It isn’t that Ghasemi will do whatever he wants, of course, but having a doctrinaire Iranian Islamist radical heading OPEC…is somewhat scary, right?

As I wrote in a blog posting last week, Iran desperately needs the revenue from high oil prices to prevent its population rioting after subsidies were removed across a range of essential goods and services in 2010.

Allon Lee

Tags:

RELATED ARTICLES


(Photo: Shutterstock)

The politics of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

Nov 22, 2022 | Update
Taraneh Alidoosti, one of Iran's most famous actresses, appearing publicly without her headscarf and holding a sign with the Kurdish words for "Women, Life, Freedom". Despite the regime's bloody repression, Alidoosti has vowed to remain in her homeland "at any price" and support the families of those killed or arrested in the protest crackdown  (Photo: Instagram)

Iran’s protest wave continues 

Nov 11, 2022 | Update
8c2ebfa2 C3e1 A33a 9cdc 07bd16e00b2f

After election win, Netanyahu set to be Israeli PM again

Nov 4, 2022 | Update
Israelis are going to the polls yet again on Nov. 1, the fifth Israeli election in less than four years. Will this vote break the political deadlock? (Image: Flickr, IDF)

Israel goes to the polls – again

Oct 28, 2022 | Update
The complex Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary dispute appears to have been settled after many years of negotiations, with Israel accepting the green line in the above diagram, except within five kilometres of the coast (This map was originally published on the MEES website).

Israel-Lebanon maritime border agreement

Oct 13, 2022 | Update
A screenshot from a video posted on Sept. 17 shows an injured protester in Saqqez, Iran, being rushed to a medical facility. (Video: Twitter)

Insights into Iran’s protest movement

Oct 7, 2022 | Update

SIGN UP FOR AIJAC EMAILS

RECENT POSTS

Image: Twitter

Apparent mass amnesia at Brighton Secondary College hearing

Left to Right: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The Russo-Iranian alliance comes to Europe

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi (source: Dean_Calma)

UN nuclear watchdog head’s shocking statement on Iran

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The World Cup and Qatar’s Hypocrisy

Image: Twitter

New Government will confront terror wave 

Image: Twitter

Apparent mass amnesia at Brighton Secondary College hearing

Left to Right: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi

The Russo-Iranian alliance comes to Europe

International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi (source: Dean_Calma)

UN nuclear watchdog head’s shocking statement on Iran

(Photo: Shutterstock)

The World Cup and Qatar’s Hypocrisy

Image: Twitter

New Government will confront terror wave 

SORT BY TOPICS