Members of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday elected Iran as rapporteur for the committee responsible for Disarmament and International Security, a body that deals with all matters regarding disarmament — including nuclear weapons.
Replacing Norwegian diplomat Knut Langeland, the Iranian representative will relay information relating to the committee’s proceedings during the UN’s 68th session, spanning 2013-14, to the General Assembly.
In July, when Iran applied for the rapporteur position, Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said in a statement that “allowing Iran to be on the UN committee dealing with nuclear disarmament and weapons proliferation is like inviting Assad, the Syrian dictator responsible for the death of 100,000 of his own people, to be the head of the population census bureau.”
In addition to appointing Iran as rapporteur, the committee gave the position of chair to Libya and vice chairs to Germany, Ecuador and Montenegro.
The committee has no authority to make binding decisions, but is in charge of drafting resolutions on the subject of international security, many of which are later debated and often accepted by the General Assembly. It also cooperates with the Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva, and the UN’s Disarmament Commission.
The decision came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the General Assembly about the dangers of a nuclear Iran, and a day after US President Barack Obama said the US would “take no options off the table, including military options,” in order to stop Tehran from possessing such weapons.
Known also as the First Committee and comprising representatives of all 193 member states, the Disarmament and International Security body is described on the UN’s website as one that “deals with disarmament, global challenges and threats to peace that affect the international community and seeks out solutions to the challenges in the international security regime.”