Thursday, September 07, 2006

Time To Tear Down The 'Satanic Curtain' And Negotiate A Two-State Solution To The Israel-Future State Of Palestine Conflict

"The scene is set for a clash of the “Great Satan” and the “axis of evil” at the United Nations this month when presidents George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad address the general assembly on the same day, with the US pressing the world body to impose sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.

The White House confirmed on Wednesday that the Iranian president would be granted a US visa to go to New York. “This will be the debate,” a US official said, referring to Mr Ahmadi-Nejad’s challenge to Mr Bush to hold a televised debate.

According to the UN agenda, Mr Bush is due to speak ahead of the Iranian president on September 19, the official noted.

Mr Ahmadi-Nejad attended the general assembly last year shortly after his election victory but only after US officials raised questions over his visa application following allegations – never substantiated – that he had played a role in the 1979-81 US embassy hostage crisis in Tehran.

Since then Mr Ahmadi-Nejad has been widely condemned for questioning the Holocaust and calling for Israel to be wiped off the map by Palestinians. However, the White House said that had no bearing on his visa application. The US has never denied a visa to a head of state to attend the UN general assembly, but did once refuse entry to Yassir Arafat, the Palestinian leader.

The US is pressing the UN to impose sanctions on Iran following its refusal to halt uranium enrichment by last week’s UN-imposed deadline. China and Russia appear reluctant to move quickly with punitive measures, however, and this year’s general assembly is likely to see intense lobbying by all sides.

Mr Ahmadi-Nejad told a cabinet meeting on Wednesday that the UN visit was a “good chance” for the debate and that the US side, if it wished, could bring advisers, according to his website.

Mr Bush first called Iran part of the “axis of evil” in 2002. Iranian leaders habitually refer to the US as the “Great Satan”.

Guy Dinmore "Iran’s leader to duel with Bush at UN" Financial Times September 7, 2006

Interior Mural from Coit Tower, San Francisco, California.

In celebration of the United Nations sixtieth anniversary, the United Nations Department of Public Information organized a commemoration of the signing of the United Nations Charter, which took place in San Francisco on 26 June 1945.

United Nations History

Photo credit: Contra Costa Community College Public Art Study Page. With thanks.


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