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With Iran as Co-Host, Nowruz Boycotted by UK Not US, Rice Has Other Worries

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive

UNITED NATIONS, March 21, updated -- Tuesday night's celebration in the UN General Assembly of Nowruz was interesting for those who were and weren't there.

  The UK has confirmed that it was not there, because Iran was the co-host. [Ambassador Lyall Grant confirmed this to Inner City Press, on UNTV camera, at the stakeout.]

  But Inner City Press greeted and spoke with US Mission's affable Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo as she exited the GA Hall.

  The following morning at the Security Council, with not only Syria but also Iran sanctions on the agenda, Inner City Press asked US Ambassador Susan Rice as she entered the Council, the UK boycotted but the US went to Nowruz.

  Rice told Inner City Press, "I've got enough trouble without worrying about their social schedule."

  Rice had been down in Washington at the House Appropriations subcommittee, speaking about Iran and resolution 1929, and calling Palestine's move to join UNESCO "reprehensible," and referring to attempt as UN membership as line cutting. (Somehow this doesn't apply to Kosovo, an issue close to the heart of Ambassador DiCarlo.)

  Inner City Press notes that the other co-hosts included Pakistan, Turkey, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and others, each of which laid out a spread containing meat and rice. There would have been a rationale for the UK to go. France also was there, in the form of its Deputy Permanent Representative Martin Briens who when spotted told Inner City Press he didn't know about Thursday's Arria formula briefing about Syria.

  But the UK, for example, recently blocked Sri Lankan Deputy Permanent Representative Shavendra Silva from attending a Commonwealth reception with Foreign Secretary William Hague, given Silva's association with war crimes. While this is commendable, when Inner City Press asked UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant to explain banning Silva (as Ban Ki-moon has not done), Lyall Grant declined to speak about it. So it goes at the UN.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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