UN, US on START and 123 Agreement with Russia, Iran Sanctions Link?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 11 -- With the UN Security Council's discussion of Iran
sanctions stalled by this week's trip to the Congo and this month's
NPT meetings at the UN, on May 11 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Rose Gottemoeller told the Press there is "no link" between
the NEW START treaty with Russia and that country's expected vote for
at least some Iran sanctions.
asked Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller if she acknowledged a link
between Iran sanctions and both the Senate's consideration of START
and the proposed U.S.-Russia Agreement for Peaceful Nuclear
Cooperation, called the ‘123’ Agreement.
Gottemoeller said that the 123 Agreement is "getting attention
in Washington again" and called this a "good step." Of
course, she said, the Senate in its advice and consent will look more
broadly at the U.S. - Russia relationship. Video here,
she said, "no link" but rather "no direct link."
She said the START agreement should have an "important" and
apparently positive influence, as an implementation of the "reset
button" pushed by Hillary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov.
City Press asked Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller if she had seen
the film "Countdown to Zero." It's on my schedule for next
week, she said. Click here for Inner City Press' review.
Gottemoeller and Obama book in Russian, links not shown
Iran sanctions predict at least two negative votes on the Security
Council: Brazil and Turkey. One P-5 member favors waiting to let
Brazil and Turkey try to work with Iran, figuring they too will then
come to favor sanctions. But the U.S. does not want to wait. We'll
while the visiting Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller spoke free and
easy at the North Lawn building stakeout, getting answers from the US
Mission to the UN has become increasingly difficult. On the morning
of May 11 as Ambassador Susan Rice entered the Security Council,
Inner City Press began to ask for a question about the statement
issued in her name the previous day about Sri Lanka.
was busy. Later a genial Mission staffer came to asked what the
was, and said he would go in and get an answer. But leaving the
Council he said he'd have to check with the "Sri Lanka people."
Hours later in the North Lawn building he again promised an answer.
But still as of close of business and deadline, none was provided.
Should Assistant Secretary Gottemoeller have been asked?
* * *
At UN, Ahmadinejad
Defends Iran's Treatment of Women, Mocks Obama & Ban Ki-moon
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 4 -- When Iran dropped its candidacy for a seat on the
UN Human Rights Council last month, some described it as restoring at
least some credibility to the UN, as when Bosnia stepped in and beat
out Belarus for a seat two years ago.
City Press asked President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about Iran's
successful replacement candidacy, for a seat on the UN Commission on
the Status of Women, despite gender discrimination and repression,
Ahmadinejad had a different and lengthy answer.
said the switch
was procedural, that Iran had always wanted the CSW seat more than
the Human Rights Council, which within the Asia Group Pakistan was
supposed to run for. Due to a misunderstanding, Ahmadinejad said,
Iran temporarily made a grab for the HRC, before returning to the
seat promised to it, on the Commission on the Status of Women.
how does Iran
intend to use the seat, Inner City Press asked, since it has refused
to sign the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against
Women? We will never sign that, Ahmadinejad vowed. He went to on
paint of picture of "love and complementariness" in Iran.
menial jobs in Iran, he said, nothing "like you and me, cleaning
the street or driving a truck." He said he had read that 70% of
married women in Europe suffer physical abuse, but refuse to complain
for fear of losing their families. Women are better off, he
concluded, in Iran than in Europe.
UN's Ban and Ahmadinejad, human rights not shown
answers came during a more than one hour long press conference held
Tuesday across the street from the UN. The room in the Millennium
Hotel was full, with journalists from the Daily News, Washington Post
and wires, and even Christiane Amanpour (who was not called on).
taken a list of reporters who wanted to ask question, which Inner
City Press arrive too late to sign. But having covered Iran's Nowruz
receptions -- "be more positive next time," the Iranian
mission admonished, leading Inner City Press to ask "or what?"
-- the moderator nodded and allowed the question.
journalists remarked that Ahmadinejad's press conference was more
open and democratic than those of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
or the pre-screened
stakeout by Hillary Clinton the previous day.
There, the US State Department decided in advance which questions to
take. At Iran's event, alongside some very pro Tehran question,
questions were taken about for example the reports of North Korean
weapons intercepted on their way to Iran.
weapons from them, Ahmadinejad answered. If America finds and seizes
such weapons they can keep them. Regarding Ban Ki-moon, Ahmadinejad
said that if the UN were in Tehran and Iran had a Security Council
veto, Ban would never have spoken as he did on Monday. Asked
repeatedly about sanctions, he said that if they go through, it will
mean that US President Obama has "submitted" and been taken
control of by a gang. This order, he said, will soon collapse.
what of those
arrested and disappeared after the contested elections? Ahmadinejad
did not answer that question, fastening instead on the women's rights
part of the question. Whether the Iranian mission will in the future
allow such questions to be asked, and even answered, remains to be
* * *
UN, Hardly Mentioning N.Korea, Did Hillary Meet the Wrong Nigerian Foreign Minister or Just
Not Know His Name?
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, May 3, updated May 4
-- When Hillary Clinton came to speak to or at the UN
press corps on Monday afternoon, the questions were pre-selected and
North Korea was not mentioned. The first two questions were given to
CBS and the Wall Street Journal, and both were on Iran.
third and it
seemed last concerned the US decision to disclose the number of its
weapons. By sheet persistence a UN correspondent from South Asia got
a question in about India, Pakistan and Israel. But no mention of
North Korea. (In full disclosure, Inner City Press said "North
Korea" during each lull, each time louder.)
seeming blindspot? Why focus so much on Iran, calling it a threat to
cross the "red line" to nuclear weapons status, when North
Korea is already over the line? On the first day of
the NPT Review
Conference, Kim Jong-Il was visiting China.
Clinton not addressing North Korea, Inner City Press asked Gareth
Evans about it. He said the DPRK has somewhere around 10 weapons, and
it is a major concern. A reporter for Iranian media shouted two
questions to him about Israel's weapons. Evans scoffed at the second
question and turned away. He told a persistent reporter - not this
one -- that he had no business cards.
spoke, her counterpart from Indonesia walked by, with an entourage of
merely three. Hillary's posse was much larger, similar to that of
Ahmadinejad or later in the day, the EU's Lady Ashton. Snarks pegged
her outfit as something for last week's Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Issues, and even suggested she could be replaced by David Miliband
when Gordon Brown's Labor loses. Miliband keeps Tweeting as if
Gordo's gonna win.
Hillary Clinton on May 3, wrong Nigerian foreign
minister not shown
Department's tweets, meanwhile, contained a blatant error on
It was announced that Hillary met with Nigeria's foreign minister,
but the former ousted one was named.
#SecClinton just held a bilat with Nigerian Foreign Minister Ojo
Maduekwe in New York. #Nigeria
this began in Hillary's
p.m. Secretary Clinton holds a Bilateral Meeting with Nigerian
Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe, at the TIAA CREFF Building.
melt down at the UN Inner City Press covered,
is no longer the
foreign minister of Nigeria. Nor, last
week, did the US Mission to
the UN answer a single one of the questions Inner City Press
submitted, about Congo and the Sudan -- a topic on which Hillary says
she's "disappointed." Well, we're disappointed too.
Note to Foggy
Bottom: there's a
new foreign minister of Nigeria, Odein Ajumogobia, and he'll be
appearing at Nigeria
House on Second Avenue on Wednesday. Watch this site.
Update of May 3, 6:50 p.m. - Zimbabwe's
Ambassador, at a Russian reception Monday evening celebrating the end
of World War II, told Inner City Press that the event for Nigeria's new
foreign minister has been canceled. The plot thickens...
Update of May 4, 11:01 a.m - Inner City Press
asked Nigeria's Permanent Representative to the UN Joy Ogwu about the
meeting and snafu, and she was seemingly mortified. Ojo is long gone.
So why would the Obama Administration and Hillary Clinton, reaching out
to the world, not even take the time to keep up with a months-old
change in foreign ministers of a major African country that's on the UN
Security Council? And what will they say about thiat? Watch this site.