Heads of Civilized Nations Should Stop Meeting Ahmadinejad and Stop Attending Meetings in Tehran


Huffington Post, July 11 - Last month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got a rude shock when he arrived in Rio for a U.N. sustainability conference known as Rio+20. Instead of being the center of attention, he found himself snubbed by many of the world leaders in attendance who passed up the opportunity to meet with him.

This is entirely appropriate behavior toward the leader of a nation which is defying multiple U.N. resolutions to stop developing nuclear weapons and who personally has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, a fellow member of the U.N. in good standing.

Lately, utterances from Iranian leaders have crossed the bounds of what might be described as mere "anti-Zionism" into the clear realm of anti-Semitism. On June 26, Iranian vice president Mohammad Reza Rahimi delivered an unprecedented, public anti-Semitic tirade in front of local and international dignitaries.

He blamed the spread of drugs on the teachings of the Talmud, a basic holy Jewish text that collects centuries of discussions in Jewish academies explaining Judaism's oral laws. Rahimi said, outrageously, that the Talmud teaches how to destroy non-Jews. He stated that four fifths of American wealth in owned by Jews. As if that wasn't enough, Rahimi dug up a new variation of the traditional blood libels used against Jews, claiming that Jews sterilized thousands of Native Americans.

Last week, the speaker of the Iranian parliament, Ali Larijani, added his voice to the chorus, saying the entire West as well as Israel should "disappear."

"Today, the time has come for the disappearance of the West and the Zionist regime (Israel) -- which are two dark spots in the present era -- from the face of the universe," said Larijani.

These kind of hateful statements should put Iran beyond the pale for responsible leaders of other nations. It's time for them to shun Ahmadinejad and his colleagues and to cut them off from the normal niceties of diplomatic relations. Any world leader who meets them is in effect saying that their genocidal threats are not important and not to be taken seriously.

The regime in Tehran continues to place high importance on international meetings. Just this week, Ahmadinejad is addressing an international conference on "Women and Islamic Awakening" which is being attended by delegates from 80 Muslim states as well as representatives of Muslim minorities of non-Muslim countries.

But much more important is next month's scheduled conference of the Non-Aligned Movement which has 120 member nations and 21 observer nations. The Iranians are already working hard to ensure a good attendance.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would attend -- no great surprise there. And the new Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is mulling his invitation.

Yesterday, the Iranians made a big deal when Armenia's President Serzh Sargsyan said he would attend.Shame on him.

It's time for the world to send a clear message to Iran that the regime's defiance of the international community and its rising tide of vile anti-Semitic propaganda are no longer acceptable and that the regime's representatives are no longer welcome at international meetings.

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