In response for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadnejad's quotation of an old Ayatollah Khomeni statement on the destruction of Israel, Ariel Sharon has called for the expulsion of Iran from the United Nations (UN), and was followed with a more understated threat of this from Secretary General Kofi Annan.

For certain, the UN Security Council admonished Iran that all UN members "have undertaken to refrain from the threat or use of force against any (UN member) state." And this is exactly why the UN is going to prove unable to make any meaningful progress with Iran.

Refrain from the threat of force???

For some three years now I have read an almost endless list of belligerent statements directed at Iran by Israeli and U.S. officials. As reported in the New Yorker (Jan. 24, 2005) by Seymour Hersh, active collaborative planning between Israelis and U.S. neocons under the leadership of Douglas Feith have even led to detailed attack plans on Iran being drawn up. The Israelis admit to having contingency plans for such attacks, but claim they would be non-nuclear.

Isn't this a threat of force?

Iran is a sovereign country. It clearly has a right to have nuclear facilities. The UN leadership has not issued a word of censure about open preparations for war against Iran--a clear provocation under international law.

Further, as the Iranians recently pointed out, Israel has over 100 nuclear weapons but no concerted international action has been mounted to its atomic program--which is clearly geared almost solely to weapons production, i.e., the threat of force against the Arab states, Iran and other Islamic countries.

As everyone in the region must be well aware of--including the Israelis--it would be madness for the Iranians to engage in a nuclear "first strike" exchange with the Israelis. Israel would cease to exist, but so would Iran. Rather, Iranian nuclear weapons, if any are ever developed, would make an Israeli nuclear first strike more problematic (and less likely).

On the question of Israel's "right to exist" it obviously has one on the grounds of 50+ years of adverse possession. But the genesis of the current problems can also be traced directly back to the UN originally accepting inflated Zionist population statistics to authorize the establishment of the Israeli state and then turning a blind eye as the Palestinians were terrorized and driven from their homes.

As the title of this piece suggests, the latest UN approach to the Iranian crisis is but the latest in a long string of failures.