If Iran were Applying for UN Membership Today...

For decades, the U.S. was opposed to admitting Communist China to the UN. That sounds wildly irrational today. But we understood through Democratic and Republican administrations that China was a danger to the international order that the UN was founded to establish. The UN is supposed to be composed of nations committed to living peacefully with their neighbors. Since Communist China had sent a million troops across the Yalu River into North Korea in 1950 and since the UN had authorized a “police action” against North Korea’s invasion of South Korea, it was argued that however big and powerful China was, it was not a regime that upheld the UN’s core values. In short, how can we admit a nation to the UN whose revolutionary program is to overthrow all the other members of the UN? How can we accept a government that uses subversion and outright invasion to topple other members of the UN?

That position of the U.S. was eventually abandoned in the 1970s when President Richard Nixon made his “historic” trip to mainland China in 1972. The rapprochement between the U.S. and Communist China was intended to counter Soviet moves and help America in the game of realpolitik.

It’s worth remembering this history when it comes to Iran’s membership in the UN. Iran has long had a seat in the UN General Assembly and Iran’s so-called leaders have regularly come to New York to give their speeches to a large and appreciative audience.

Iran's ruling mullahs have called for the destruction of Israel not once, but repeatedly. Iran’s mullahs have for decades led rallies of paid backers in “Death to America” chants. To say the least, this is a violation of the UN Charter. It might be helpful to reread the opening words of that Charter:

To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

Considering those are the organizing principles of the world body we call the United Nations (UN), it is an act of stunning cynicism to say that requiring Iran to recognize Israel’s right to exist (or America’s right not to have her death called for on a regular and uninterrupted basis) should be a “deal breaker” for nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are being taken to the congressional woodshed by chin-pulling talking heads. Commentators tell us it’s unwise, unsophisticated, and unprofessional for them to try to attach amendments to the Corker-Cardin bill that would give Congress a voice in any Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

If you demand that Iran recognize Israel’s right to exist, you will scuttle the entire agreement, we are told. With straight faces, these Wise Men say this.

Iran has already recognized Israel’s right to exist. And America’s. Iran has been occupying a seat in the UN for decades. By sitting in the General Assembly, Iran has committed itself to observing the UN Charter.

Question: If the mullahs’ regime in Iran were applying for UN membership today, should Iran be admitted? With their decades-long record of state sponsorship of terror, with their involvement in overthrowing governments in Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and now Yemen, would Iran be seen as “developing friendly relations” with other states? Would Iran even minimally qualify as a government that showed respect for human rights?

Let’s not forget that Pastor Saeed Abedini languishes in a rathole prison in Iran for the “crime” of witnessing to his Christian faith. Pastor Abedini was exercising a fundamental human right protected by Article 18 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR).

Our colleague, Tony Perkins, the president of Family Research Council, has long demanded the release of Pastor Abedini, and has provided a forum for his wife to appeal to the Christian community through interviews on his radio program. but so far the State Department led by John Kerry has been almost silent on this urgent appeal.

In addition to the UN Charter, UNDHR is another treaty Iran has signed. Of course, Iran was one of the first to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

The entire negotiation that has taken place between Iran’s mullahs and the Obama administration, with hand-wringing members of the European Union standing nervously by, has been an effort curb Iran’s open violations of the NPT. We believe FRC’s Gen. Jerry Boykin has a more realistic assessment of Iran’s ambitions than this administration’s officials do.

To sum up, Iran flouts the UN Charter every day, yet maintains a seat in the General Assembly. Iran says Israel is a “two-bomb country,” but claims it is not working on even one bomb. Iran holds mass rallies where thousands chant "Death to America” in violation of the Charter, the UNDHR, and a host of other international accords.

Yet we have supposedly serious and mature negotiators who think Iran might be trusted to keep an agreement the mullahs make now. How can they think this?

What in the record of this regime could give us any confidence that an openly defiant outlaw regime like Iran can be trusted even for one day? If it doesn’t honor any of the treaties it ratified yesterday, why should it uphold its agreements tomorrow?

When leaders in Washington complain that Sens. Cotton and Rubio want to “blow up” the forthcoming agreement with Iran, there is a response. Better to “blow up” a sham agreement than to blow up the U.S. Or Israel. The “pop” of the silly balloon of Iran’s trustworthiness will be nothing compared to the blast of a single Iranian nuclear weapon.

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior Fellows at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC.