Iran Doesn´t Belong in the U.N. or IMF (WSJ) WALL STREET JOURNAL OP-ED) By JOHN BOLTON, MARK WALLACE AND KRISTEN SILVERBERG 08/14/12)
WALL STREET JOURNAL
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Any member that persistently violates the U.N. Charter can be
expelled. That certainly sounds like Tehran.
The Iranian nuclear crisis has dragged on for some 20 years, despite
multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions and a phalanx of national
sanctions. Many believe that only military force will stop Iran, but
even now Tehran doesn´t appear to take such a threat seriously.
One step short of force that the "international community" has been
unwilling to take is ostracizing Iran from international
organizations, such as the U.N. and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF). This needs to change.
Iran´s participation in these organizations undermines their
foundational principles. The U.N. Charter provides that membership is
open to "peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained
in the present Charter and . . . are able and willing to carry out
these obligations." The Islamic Republic clearly doesn´t fit this
Iran has repeatedly called for Israel´s destruction, using anti-
Semitic, anti-Israel rhetoric in violation of the Genocide
Convention. It has been repeatedly sanctioned by the Security Council
and condemned by the International Atomic Energy Agency for violating
the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. It has also been cited for
aiding the Assad regime´s slaughter of Syrian citizens. Tehran
regularly hosts Holocaust-denial conferences.
Yet the U.N. has embraced Iranian leaders. Iran was elected
unanimously to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in 2010.
This is a country that flogs women for violating Islamic dress norms
and stones them for adultery. Soon after Iran´s election, the
commission singled out just one country for condemnation: Israel.
During a recent U.N. anti-narcotics conference in Tehran, Iran
accused "Zionists" of spreading illegal drugs around the world.
Just this past year, Iran was elected to a leadership role in the
U.N. Arms Trade Treaty negotiations—despite its history of arming
state sponsors of terror and terrorist groups.
Iran undermines other international organizations, too. Currently,
the IMF holds an account with Bank Markazi, Iran´s central bank,
totaling some $1 billion. Both the U.S. and the European Union have
sanctioned that bank for its money-laundering activities, including
funneling money to Iran´s military and nuclear weapons-related
Iran´s participation in these organizations is unacceptable. Tehran
should be held accountable for its defiance of international law.
Article 6 of the U.N. Charter explicitly provides for the expulsion
of any member "which has persistently violated the Principles
contained" therein. That certainly sounds like Iran.
A lesser penalty, under Article 5, is suspension "from the exercise
of the rights and privileges of membership." The U.N. also has the
power to reject the credentials of a delegation, as it did in 1974
with regard to the South African delegation, citing its "constant
violation of the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human
Adopting any of these measures would be extraordinarily difficult.
Suspension from the U.N. requires approval by the Security Council
and a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly. But there are real
advantages in making Iran´s friends stand out in the sunshine. Will
Russia and China veto a suspension resolution in the council, as they
have recently vetoed sanctions resolutions against the Assad
dictatorship in Syria? If so, let them reveal the true character of
their own regimes, and the behind-the-scenes reality of the U.N.
Both the U.S. and the EU have adopted laws prohibiting their
taxpayers´ revenues from lining the pockets of Iranian regime
officials and institutions. Yet at the same time, both heavily fund
the U.N. and the IMF, facilitating Iran´s destabilizing activities.
Iran´s continued participation in the U.N. and the IMF affords it
international legitimacy and platforms to advance its agenda—gutting
economic sanctions, among them—and undermines important Western
This September, New York will be forced once again to host Iran´s
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who will undoubtedly use his speech
before the U.N. General Assembly to spew anti-U.S. and anti-Semitic
rhetoric. It is time for individual countries to prohibit
international institutions from ignoring their own principles.
This is no longer just about Iran flouting the rules and undermining
the integrity of international institutions. These institutions are
directly enabling Iran´s diplomatic and financial efforts to advance
its pursuit of nuclear weapons and destabilizing activities in the
Middle East. Many governments and private companies have taken
seriously their responsibility to pressure Iran to change course.
International organizations must now do the same. (Copyright © Dow
Jones & Company, Inc.) 08/14/12)
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