ADL Calls On Ban Ki-Moon To Refuse To Speak At Iranian Conference In Tehran

New York, NY, August 14, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to make clear that he does not intend to travel to Iran later this month.

The Iranian Government invited the Secretary General to address the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, which is being held in Tehran, August 26-31. Despite enormous public attention, the Secretary General's spokesperson has refused to confirm or deny that he accepted the invitation.

In an August 8 letter to the Secretary General, ADL urged him to decline, saying, "Your presence in the Iranian capital at this time will be counterproductive to the efforts of the international community to bring Iran into compliance with its obligations under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and abandon its nuclear weapons ambitions." ADL has not received a reply.

"The Secretary General should publicly commit that he will not go to Tehran to address the NAM conference," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "We strongly believe that such a visit will be a grave mistake, and serve to legitimize and bolster the Iranian regime and its extreme and dangerous policies. At a time when responsible members of the international community are working together to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear weapons program by increasing its isolation, we would expect the Secretary General to express support for that effort by announcing he will not be traveling Tehran. His apparent hesitation to make such an announcement is inexplicable."

In its letter, ADL said that Iran has shown scant respect for the U.N., including rebuffing Security Council resolutions and other international efforts to convince Iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program, refusing to permit the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect military installations, championing the violently repressive Syrian regime and its leaders spouting vile anti-Semitic rhetoric from U.N. podiums.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.