Iran to lead UN-linked forum on disarmament at end of month

Fox News has learned that Iran will chair the UN Conference on Disarmament at the end of the month. Past conferences have negotiated such major multilateral arms control and disarmament agreements such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty.

The UN conference, which began in Geneva today, will be lead by Iranian Ambassador to the UN, Seyed Mohammad Sajjadi, from May 27 until June 23.

This isn't the first time that a country that flagrantly defies the international community over its nuclear program and is under sanctions for weapons proliferation and human rights abuses, has held a leadership role at the UN in formulating disarmament policy. North Korea assumed the presidency of the forum in the summer of 2011. Fox News reported on this ironic development and was told at the time by the US Mission to the UN and the State Department that the US would fight against this kind of thing from happening. Here we are again.

This morning, Fox News asked the US Mission to the UN about the Islamic Republic’s appointment to chair the disarmament conference and just received the following statement:

Statement by Erin Pelton, Spokesperson, U.S. Mission to the United Nations, on Iran’s Rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament, May 13, 2013.

Iran’s upcoming rotation as President of the Conference on Disarmament (CD) is unfortunate and highly inappropriate.  The United States continues to believe that countries that are under Chapter VII sanctions for weapons proliferation or massive human-rights abuses should be barred from any formal or ceremonial positions in UN bodies.

While the presidency of the CD is largely ceremonial and involves no substantive responsibilities, allowing Iran -- a country that is in flagrant violation of its obligations under multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and to the IAEA Board of Governors -- to hold such a position runs counter to the goals and objectives of the Conference on Disarmament itself.  As a result, the United States will not be represented at the ambassadorial level during any meeting presided over by Iran.