The Last Straw for Iran

The preamble of the Charter of the United Nations declares that the UN be established “to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” Today though, the UN has member nations who clearly don’t support or embody these noble values and visions. Iran has continually demonstrated its place as one of these states. Iran is not peaceful, neighborly or cooperative with the rest of the world, and instead they have been a threat to the world since they started clandestinely developing nuclear weapons. But Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s suggestion in a speech last weekend that Israel should be “wiped off the map” heightened the seriousness of the threat. In order to uphold the principles upon which the UN was founded, Iran should be immediately expelled from that international body. Such an action would require a Security Council recommendation and a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly. While such support for expulsion is unrealistic, the UN should not lose sight of the fact that based on principle and fact, it should happen. In August 2002, Iranian Exiles informed the world that Iran was pursuing uranium enrichment without the permission or knowledge of the UN. The testimonies of these exiles clearly indicated that the “father” of the Pakistani nuclear program, Abdul Qadeer Khan sold Iran nuclear weapons technology and satellite pictures of sites at Natanz and Arak. Under pressure, Iran agreed in October 2003, February 2004, and November 2004 to end its effort to enrich uranium. Unfortunately, Iran decided thereafter to not cooperate with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors and continue to pursue nuclear energy. In August 2005 President Ahmadinejad went as far as to declare publicly Iran’s decision to continue enriching uranium. A month later Ahmadinejad announced to the UN that Iran has an “unalienable right” to produce nuclear fuel. Later in Septmeber, citing Iran’s refusal to comply with international nuclear safeguards, the IAEA passed a resolution referring Iran to the UN Security Council. This behavior is unacceptable and actively threatens the unalienable right that people have to live in peace and security. Democratically elected President Ahmadinejad’s statements to the “World without Zionism” conference cannot be tolerated by the international community. Never before in the history of the UN has one country’s president ever called for the annihilation of a member state. Ridiculous behavior of this sort should not be encouraged by leniency on the part of the Security Council and General Assembly. The European Union and White House were quick to reject Iran’s comments, while UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan also expressed his “dismay.” Even Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat declared the Iranian statement unacceptable. He went on to say that the PA “[has] recognized the State of Israel and…[is] pursuing a peace process with Israel, and … [does] not accept the statements of the president of Iran.” Most Arab leaders refused to respond to the comments. Israel’s Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon proposed that Iran be expelled from the UN and his Ambassador to the UN, Danny Gillerman, made such a request to the president of the Security Council. The threat of a nuclear Iran extends beyond Israel’s borders. A nuclear Iran would threaten all of Europe as well. Iran does not deserve to have a vote on matters effecting world security, prosperity, and justice when they themselves have proven to act contrary to the best interest of the international community. In order to maintain the integrity of the United Nations, the Iranian delegation should be promptly removed from the world body.