Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the UN

The following text, which I was tasked by London-based Iranian democrats with editing, is a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon protesting a planned speech by recently re-appointed Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the General Assembly…

To His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
1 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017-3

10 September 2009

Dear Mr Secretary-General,

Re: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the United Nations

On 12 June 2009 the Iranian people went to the polls to elect a president. Frustrated with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his government’s policies, the people came out in large numbers to choose a different path for their country, even though they had little faith in Iran’s electoral system. The people thought that their actions would make rigging the election very difficult.

In the early hours of 13 June, however, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was declared president-elect of Iran, and the world saw Iranians take to the streets in protest. Thugs associated with Ahmadinejad armed with machetes, clubs, chains, batons and live ammunition then attacked the protesters who were peacefully calling for a fair election.

The Iranian people strongly believe that Ahmadinejad and his Revolutionary Guards, Basij paramilitary militia and others have carried out a coup against the nation, with the support of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Ahmadinejad is now planning to deliver a speech to the UN General Assembly, claiming to be the Iranian president.

We wish to let the world know that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not the legitimate president of Iran. Ahmadinejad and his supporters stole the election, and we ask that you do not give a platform at the UN to a representative of this coup against our fair nation.

How can the UN justify hosting a man who claims to represent the people of a country, when the people of that country do not recognise him as their president?

We also request that a UN special envoy be sent to Iran to investigate the human rights abuses that have taken place since the 12 June election, and investigate the brutal death of more than 73 people killed during the same period.

Yours faithfully,

Supporters of the Iranian Green Movement in London

The call for Mahmoud the Mad to be uninvited by the General Assembly will no doubt go unheeded. After all, the UN is strictly speaking an assembly of states, not nations, and as such tends not to make value judgements concerning the legitimacy of individual heads of state. The UN may have something to say about the validity of the recent Iranian election, but, short of casting Iran into international political purgatory, this gallery of saints, sinners and all sorts in-between will accept that Ahmadinejad is the de facto president of Iran. The theocratic rulers of that country have declared him so, and their political-military power is what matters.

My Iranian friends will I’m sure accept this, at least on an intellectual level. But their protest is nonetheless valid, and in my view it is valuable.

Attentive readers in Britain will be aware that Iranian democrats have since the June election staged a number of large-scale demonstrations outside their country’s embassy in London. What you may not be aware of is that there are rallies held every Thursday and Sunday afternoon. If you are in the vicinity of Prince’s Gate when these gatherings are taking place, do stop by and say hello to your Iranian brothers and sisters. They could do with the moral support.