Today, 72 Members of Congress urged United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to call for the removal of Iran from its role as President of the U.N. Conference on Disarmament (CD). In a bipartisan letter authored by Reps. Gary Peters (D-MI), Peter Roskam (R-IL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), and Mike Kelly (R-PA), lawmakers asserted that Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, egregious human rights record, and support for terrorist organizations disqualifies it from participating in the CD.
"Iran chairing the U.N Conference on Disarmament undermines the credibility of the United Nations and its effectiveness to resolve dangerous and critical issues," said Rep. Peters. "Iran continues to move forward on its path to a nuclear weapon, an outcome that would destabilize the Middle East and threaten the security of the United States and Israel. Its role in this conference is simply unacceptable."
"In what parallel universe could Iran--a world leader in weapons proliferation and terror financing--be taken seriously leading the charge for nuclear disarmament? " said Rep. Roskam, co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus. "The Iranian regime's presence at the Conference eludes comprehension and is an insult to those committed to global non-proliferation efforts."
"It's outrageous that a country that refuses to abide by any international proliferation agreements - as it continues its own illicit pursuit for nuclear weapons - is chairing a conference on disarmament," said Rep. Deutch, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa. "I applaud the US and Canada for boycotting what can only be described as a mockery of non-proliferation efforts and urge others to follow."
Iran is scheduled to preside over the conference from May 27 to June 23. The United States and Canada have already agreed to boycott the forum during this period.
Other signers included Reps. Ed Royce, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Eliot Engel, Foreign Affairs Ranking Member, and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.