Finally, we can leave Iran’s elections where they belong and turn to other matters – such as Tehran’s activities in the international arena, something it relishes and which we haven’t examined for months (which is still a better record than most media outlets).
Let’s begin with the Geneva visit of Iran’s Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare Asadollah Abbasi, who met Afghani, Iraqi, Egyptian and Malaysian counterparts on the sidelines of the International Labor Conference in Geneva and discussed his ministry’s readiness “to share experiences and knowhow.”
Knowhow? Consider this heart-wrenching account recently published in the NYT by Mansour Osanloo, a persecuted Iranian trade union leader now in exile:
“I spent more than five years in prison for my labor-organizing activities. I was physically and psychologically tortured and threatened with rape. My interrogators also often threatened to detain, torture and rape my wife and children.”
Tehran’s hypocritical exploitation of international bodies doesn’t end there:
*The head of the US-sanctioned Iranian central bank continues to attend World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Washington DC;
*Despite violating IAEA demands, Iran has been chairing UN disarmament talks (which previously prompted boycott of the talks by the US and Canada);
*Ignoring Tehran’s generous assistance to Assad’s atrocities, the UN Special Envoy for Lebanon, Derek Plumbly, called on Tehran “to continue its strenuous efforts to help soothe the crisis in Syria” (note: the original FARS report with that quote was removed).
In the meantime, Iran continues to exploit its NAM chairpersonship to mobilize reluctant support for its nuclear program. Not much can be done about that.
But what about a UNESCO staff member who recites poetry in French and English expressing admiration for the Ayatollah Khamenei? Your tax bills at work…