Republicans call for Ahmadinejad to be kept out of US
* Presidential candidates Romney and McCain say Iranian leader unfit to address UNGA
By Khalid Hasan
Washington: Two Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and John McCain, have denounced Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s visit to the United Nations later this month, demanding that he be kept out of the United States.
The Washington Times, in an editorial on Tuesday, writes, “It is a disgrace to the founding principles and mission of the United Nations that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be allowed to speak before the body next week during the gathering of its General Assembly. Ahmadinejad, who is slated to speak next Tuesday in New York City, has openly called for the destruction of Israel, a UN member-state. ‘God willing, in the near future we will witness the destruction of the corrupt occupier regime,’ Ahmadinejad said in June. In 2005, he claimed that Israel ‘must be wiped out from the map of the world’.”
Pointing out that such rhetoric has been condemned by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the right-wing newspaper calls on him to take more concrete action against the Ahmadinejad regime.
“State Department officials have defended Ahmadinejad’s speaking engagement, saying the UN is a place where member states can engage in dialogue, regardless of how the world despises its actions. Such a stance is puzzling.
Under the shadow of the Holocaust, the United Nations was founded in 1945 by a war-torn world weary of conflict and was ready to embrace peace, social progress and human rights.
Ahmadinejad has chosen not to engage in a respectful dialogue and is instead calling for another genocide - and of the same original victims.
This is in flagrant disregard of the UN’s mission,” the editorial states.
Noting that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has expressed outrage at Ahmadinejad’s presence in New York, pointing out in a letter to Ban Ki-moon that “the despot is supporting Hezbollah’s terrorist efforts, flouting the international community through his nuclear weapons programme and supporting Shiite militia extremists in Iraq”, he had called on the United States to reconsider its participation in the UN should the body continue to act as a “toothless overseer when it comes to Iran”.
The editorial also takes note of Republican Senator John McCain, who on Monday also condemned Ahmadinejad’s visit.
“We urge politicians on both sides of the aisle to join these ranks and demand increased UN pressure on Ahmadinejad,” the Washington Times pleads.