On Aug. 10, B'nai B'rith sent a letter to Ban expressing alarm at the reports of his intention to participate in the summit. After repeatedly declining to comment on his travel plans to Tehran, his office confirmed on Aug. 22 that the secretary-general would make the trip.
In the letter to Ban, B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin wrote: "The Iranian regime, which is under steadily increasing international isolation due to its deplorable domestic human rights situation, financing of terrorist groups and illicit pursuit of nuclear weapons, hopes to use this summit and the presidency of NAM to gain some international legitimacy without having to curtail any of the abuses that have led to its international pariah status."
Ban's spokesman said he will be in Tehran from Aug. 29 to Aug. 31 and will meet privately with Ahmadinejad.
B'nai B'rith's letter also noted: "This summit, however, is not a U.N.-sponsored gathering or meeting and, therefore, there should be no reason why the U.N. must be represented at all, let alone by its highest official. This meeting is intended to be a celebration of the start of Iran's NAM presidency, and your attendance only gives legitimacy to the Iranian regime."
B'nai B'rith International urges efforts to end the Iranian government's pursuit of nuclear arms, financing of terrorism and oppression of its own people. Given this opportunity to host the secretary-general, the Iranians will certainly use his visit to legitimize their dangerous regime's policies.
> Click here to read the letter.