UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon confirmed on Monday that he sent a congratulatory letter to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his presidential induction. A UN spokesman later stated that the letter expressed the UN’s hope that Tehran will “cooperate… in addressing regional and global issues.”
The UN’s optimism does not reflect reality. Ahmadinejad’s was elected in June amidst evidence of voter fraud and political repression. Moreover, for a generation, Tehran has spread political unrest around the world and strategically undermined its foes with violence.
The UN’s flaccid approach to Iran comes as no surprise. The organization has considered the repressive governments of Egypt and Angola for membership on Human Rights bodies. In 2003, it even went as far as electeding Libya as chair of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, despite opposition from the US.