Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi dismissed the United Nations as an irrelevant and unhelpful organization in remarks alongside Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, demanding “reform” to make the U.N. more favorable to Tehran’s pro-jihadist ideology.
Raisi, in Ankara to sign a package of bilateral trade and diplomacy deals, railed that the United Nations had not done enough to prevent Israel from protecting itself from the Iran-funded Sunni terrorist organization Hamas and called support for Hamas and Palestinian terrorism “the top issue of humanity,” according to the Iranian state propaganda outlet PressTV.
Both Raisi and Erdogan — a radical Islamist who has repeatedly defended Hamas as “not a terrorist organization” — used the occasion of their meeting on Wednesday to condemn Israel for responding to the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7. On that day, the jihadists invaded Israeli territory and went on a mass murder spree, killing an estimated 1,200 people and engaging in extensive torture, gang rape, mass abduction, and desecration of corpses. Scholars noted that the death toll and degree of devastation of the event made it the largest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.
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Israel responded to the attack with an ongoing self-defense operation in Gaza, the Hamas stronghold, prompting widespread Muslim condemnation in the region. Following its street parties to celebrate the October 7 killings, Iran became the loudest voice opposing a response from Israel. Iran has funded Hamas and a fellow jihadist organization in the region, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars; a Hamas official told the BBC on the record that Iran offered “direct backing” for the October 7 attack on that day.
“The United Nations has lost its effectiveness in this matter and has gone to the sidelines,” Raisi lamented on Wednesday. PressTV reported that Raisi “called for the reform of the United Nations and other global bodies, lamenting that they have failed to prevent the Israeli genocide in Gaza.” Iran falsely refers to the Israeli counter-operation as “genocide.”
“Those who claim to defend human rights and whose mission is to defend global peace and security have been on the sidelines and are no longer effective,” PressTV quoted Raisi as saying, adding that he declared “the Palestinian issue the top issue of humanity.”
“The Iranian president said international organizations have failed the test of Gaza and showed they’re no longer effective,” the PressTV report continued. “He said the world should move toward forming new mechanisms to deal with threats to international peace and security.”
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Erdogan did not similarly condemn the United Nations in the joint conference, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency, though the Turkish strongman has often called for the complete dismantling of the current U.N. system. Erdogan spearheaded efforts to get the U.N. to adopt an international day against “Islamophobia” and has, for years, led a campaign called “the world is bigger than five,” demanding an end to the permanent seat system at the U.N. Security Council.
Alongside Raisi, however, Erdogan reportedly said of his country, “We support the steps taken in the field of international law to prevent Israel from getting away with the war crimes it has committed.”
“The people of Gaza have become the victims of an atrocity that will go down in human history with shame,” Erdogan proclaimed.
Anadolu also reported some other segments of Raisi’s comments, such as his frustration at the “dysfunctionality” of the U.N. and a call for “a new and just world order.”
Raisi repeated Iran’s call for the Muslim world to impose a trade and political embargo on Israel in support of the Hamas terrorists.
The two leaders signed ten memoranda of understanding, cementing deals in trade, infrastructure, and other core areas. Among the deals were a new media partnership, a “framework agreement on railway transportation,” and an agreement to expand cooperation between the Turkish National Police Academy and Iran’s Amin Police University.
Raisi’s complaints aside, the United Nations has, for years, displayed a clear anti-Israel bias, particularly its agencies responsible for “Palestinian” issues. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is dedicated to Palestinian “refugees” in Gaza and the West Bank, has long stood accused of hiring jihadists and indoctrinating children in the region into radical Islamic terrorist ideology.
“The Israeli authorities have provided UNRWA with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on Oct. 7,” UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said in the statement.
He continued, “I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation … Any UNRWA employee who was involved in acts of terror will be held accountable.”
The administration of leftist President Joe Biden halted funding to UNRWA in response to the admission. The United States gave more than $340 million to the agency in 2022.
Outside of the UNRWA, however, other United Nations arms have a long history of attacks on Israel.
“The United Nations is unquestionably the world’s foremost legitimizer of antisemitism, including in its most virulent and violent forms,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said at a hearing on antisemitism at the U.N. in November. At the meeting, U.N. Watch head Hillel Neuer noted that the General Assembly disproportionately condemns Israel while ignoring serial human rights violators.
“At the General Assembly last year, there was one resolution on Iran, one on Syria, and one on North Korea — and 15 on Israel,” he noted. “At the World Health Organization, every year its annual assembly deviates from global public health for a special debate singling out Israel.”