Israel Protests to UN: Iran Disarmament Role 'Inconceivable'

Envoy Ron Prosor says that Iran's appointment to disarmament committee 'erodes the UN's legitimacy.'

Israel on Tuesday protested the appointment of Iran as special rapporteur of the United Nations General Assembly’s Committee on Disarmament and International Security. As special rapporteur, Iran will be reporting on global disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

In a letter of complaint to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israel's ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, wrote: "It is inconceivable that a state under Security Council sanctions for suspected WMD proliferation activities would be allowed to hold this position. Permitting Iran to serve on the UN’s leading disarmament committee is like appointing a drug lord CEO of a pharmaceutical company. How is it possible to entrust the reporting on disarmament to a country that itself is likely to be the subject of the report?"

Prosor added that Iran’s appointment "erodes the UN’s legitimacy and its ability to promote arms control and disarmament, as well as preserve global peace and security. Rather than provide a global stage for Iran’s defiance and deception, the UN should shine a spotlight on the regime’s ongoing pursuit of nuclear weapons and its support for terrorism across the globe."

Iran submitted its candidacy for the position in July and campaigned hard to be elected by the UN directorate. The vote was held last Tuesday. Israel mounted an unsuccessful counter-campaign in an attempt to stymie the move.

The Iranian diplomat acting as rapporteur will replace Norwegian incumbent Knut Langeland and will serve until September 2014.

The First Committee on Disarmament and International Security, which comprises all 193 member states, “considers all disarmament and international security matters” and “seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.”

It does not have the power to pass resolutions, but its decisions and declarations carry weight among the public, media and political sphere.

Ron Prosor
Shahar Azran