On Iran, business as usual for the UN

What is the UN's reaction to the controversial, deadly re-election of Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Why a congratulatory letter to the declared winner from the UN's Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of course.

Israel's YNet reports business as usual between the UN and Iran--contested election, riots, imprisonment of protesters and over 300 deaths conveniently forgotten.

The UN spokeswoman said Ban's letter was a "customary letter on occasion of inauguration" but added that the text would not be made public. The secretary-general routinely congratulates leaders after elections and the UN has released the content of some of those messages in the past.


Last month Ban told a news conference that he was closely monitoring the situation in Iran but that he had made no decision on whether he should send an envoy to investigate reports of human rights abuses there.

Apparently not sending a letter would have constituted a human rights abuse on the part of the UN because--remember, business as usual.

Ahmadinejad is expected to come to New York next month to attend the annual UN General Assembly gathering of world leaders.

Will he deliver the usual opening speech to the General Assembly as he has done in the past few years; the one where he condemns the real human rights abusers, the US and Israel to approving cheers and applause? Will Columbia University continue its honored tradition--something about freedom of speech--so he can inform students, also to approving cheers and applause, of the real human rights abusers, the US and Israel? Or, did Ahmadinejad make a major politically incorrect statement when he announced last year that Iran has no homosexuals? Whoops! No more invitations?


Among those leaders who withheld their congratulations to Ahmadinejad were US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Ah, what do they know?

Meanwhile, Iran's Nobel Peace Prize winner, Shirin Ebadi

urged Ban to visit Iran to receive a first-hand account of human rights abuses.

"I ask UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to visit Iran," Ebadi told reporters in Seoul, where she picked up a local peace prize. "He must speak to the families whose members have been arrested or killed."

And if Ban did, just what would he say? Sorry to hear about your loss; next election just accept the results?