Boot Iran from the UN

Every fall, it seems, Americans are subjected to the ugly spectacle of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad coming to New York to address the UN General Assembly. There, at the podium, he is placed on a par with President Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, France's Francois Hollande, and other leaders of civilized states. Ahmadinejad has used this podium to spew his anti-American, anti-Israel hatred. And yet he receives hearty applause from the Islamist delegates seated before him. 


Iran signed the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights as long ago as 1948. That's when Iran was ruled by the Shah. That UNDHR contains this provision, Article 18.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

Even though Iran is a signatory to this UN document, the mullahs' theocracy that rules in Tehran today flagrantly violates this article. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani is in prison under sentence of death unless he recants his conversion to Christianity. A worldwide appeal has been made for Pastor Nadarkhani. Even the U.S. State Department -- which under this administration has been extraordinarily lax in calling for the rights of Christians to be respected -- has called for his release.

Rev. Behnam Irani, a 41-year old Evangelical Christian, is also in prison. He's accused of endangering national security for holding Bible studies in his home. Pastor Irani has been beaten and tortured for his faith. There are reportedly many other Christians in Iranian prisons, threatened with death for no other reason than professing Christ.

We are living in a time of Christian persecution unparalleled since the days of Hitler and the Soviet Gulag. And yet the UN remains in thrall to its Islamist bloc. To them, apparently, threatening their own people with death for conversion is perfectly normal, wholly acceptable.

It's time to give teeth to the State Department warnings. The U.S. should demand the ouster of Iran from the UN.  Iran is the world's leading sponsor of terrorism. Iran is defying the world body on the question of nuclear proliferation.  It should not do this with impunity.

Even if the U.S. cannot bring the UN General Assembly expel Iran's dictatorship by a majority vote, it would nonetheless put that majority on notice that our patience with murder cloaked in religious zeal is at an end. We should inform the UN that America's contribution to the world body's budget will be reduced so long as it harbors terrorists. 

Tough words are empty unless backed by strong actions. President Theodore Roosevelt did not have to cater to a world assembly filled with bloody despots. He quoted the African proverb: Speak softly, but carry a big stick. It's time for the big stick. And let's remember: T.R. won the Nobel Peace Prize for his strong and effective diplomacy. 

Ken Blackwell , former U.S. ambassador is to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.