We recently updated on German companies that kept close to Tehran even under the sanctions regime. As also reported on here in the past, turns out there is a continued effort within the United Nation to emulate the private sector’s rule-bending.
The UN’s own World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has – according to the Weekly Standard‘s Claudia Rosett – not only done the same, but also dodged inquiries by exploiting its privileges and immunities.
This as another UN agency, nuclear watchdog IAEA, was pleading for Iran’s permission to carry out its mandate and inspect nuclear sites within Iran.
The Standard’s report, titled “Technology for Tyrants,” updates readers on the latest doings of WIPO, whose questionable ties with Iran were first exposed by the newspaper in 2012.
This week’s exposé revealed that not only did WIPO ship US-origin computers free of charge to Iran and North Korea, it also got off the hook and sidestepped a Congressional inquiry after the UN judged it to have “stayed within the letter, if not the spirit, of UN sanctions.”
Not the spirit…
But that’s not all: according to the report, both Tehran and Pyongyang have since learned to exploit the organization, which the Standard said handles sensitive information but “operates largely off the radar of the US press.”
Iran, for example, has held one of the 53 seats on the organization’s program and budget committee. In fact, Iranian Geneva representative Ambassador Abbas Bagherpour recently chose candidates for the job of ensuring its integrity. Really.
The organization also employs Iranian and North Korean nationals who were involved with the aforementioned computer shipments.
So what have we here? A UN organization – unlike a private company, with no ostensible profit motive – contravening the UN’s own monitoring and nonproliferation efforts within Iran. And screwing the IAEA in the process.
Hats off to Claudia Rosett. But with so many UN correspondents on the payroll – many, such as Reuters’ Louis Charbonneau and Foreign Policy’s Colum Lynch, quite good actually – we fail to understand why she’s the only one following this issue.