Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran: Ban "under the influence," interferes

Iran has accused Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of interference in their sovereign affairs. A response statement by Ban will likely be read out in 90 minutes at today's daily press briefing. Ban had called for no force to be used against peaceful protesters.

What's amusing about this is that Ban has always tread very lightly with his public statements -- as opposed to, say, his predecessor Kofi Annan -- and the Iran issue is no exception. Unlike some European countries, Ban has studiously avoided saying the election was rigged (requesting only that "the peoples' will be respected") and has generally kept a fairly low profile on the Iran elections issue. Going after him may work -- the SG has shown himself to be sensitive to criticism -- but it sure makes the Iranian regime look shrill.

The other amusing part of this story is the use of the phrase "under the influence of some powers," as if some powers were like a couple drinks at the bar. Coming from a country where theoretically alcohol is forbidden, it's an excellent choice of words.

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