Biden Admin Under Pressure To Freeze UN Funding as International Body Boosts Iran

Groups led by former VP Pence also call for Iranian foreign minister’s American visa to be revoked

Iran’s Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, U.N. secretary-general António Guterres (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is under pressure from a coalition of outside advocacy groups to cut American funding to the United Nations over the international organization’s appointment of Iran to several leadership positions.

“Following Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, it is reckless for the United States to continue funding the United Nations while Iran abuses its position on several UN committees, conferences, and forums,” a group of 20 foreign policy experts and think tanks wrote to the White House on Thursday, according to a copy of the letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Led by former vice president Mike Pence’s Advancing American Freedom (AAF) advocacy group, the organizations argue that it is well past time to freeze more than $18 billion the United States provides to the United Nations each year.

In the days since Iran unleashed an unprecedented missile attack on the Jewish state, the United Nations has forwarded several measures blaming Israel for the violence and accusing the country of withholding humanitarian aid from the embattled Gaza Strip, where Hamas has been caught stealing much of the aid.

Iran, Hamas’s chief patron, sits at the head of several key U.N. committees, even as its terror proxies conduct lethal operations against the United States and other Western nations operating in the region. Advancing American Freedom and its allies said the international organization should not be working alongside Iran at a time when the Islamic Republic is fomenting chaos in the Middle East.

Iran chairs the U.N. Conference on Disarmament and the U.N. Human Rights Council Social Forum and was elected as the rapporteur for the U.N. Committee on Disarmament and International Security—an appointment that came as Tehran marches closer to a nuclear weapon and blocks international inspectors from monitoring its enrichment work.

“In 2022, the U.S. was the largest donor to the UN, accounting for $18 billion and approximately one-third of the organization’s budget,” the advocacy groups write. “Withholding all funds to the UN would send an unmistakable message to the rest of the world that the U.S. stands with Israel and supports peace across the globe.”

While the Biden administration is unlikely to heed this call, the advocacy groups pushing for this policy signals mounting frustration in foreign policy circles with the United Nations’ ability to perform its job as the globe’s peace broker. The letter is backed by members of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, the Endowment for Middle East Truth, Secure America Now, the American Association of Evangelicals, and other foreign policy leaders.

The effort is likely to attract support from Republicans in Congress, many of whom have long been calling for the United States to fundamentally reconsider its financial relationship with the United Nations.

The AAF and its network of allies are also pressing the Biden administration to revoke an American entrance visa that was recently granted to Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Iran’s top diplomat is scheduled to be in New York City this week for a series of U.N. meetings centered on Israel’s ongoing conflict with Hamas.

The AAF-led coalition joins other advocacy groups and Republicans, such as United Against a Nuclear Iran and Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.), in calling for Amir-Abdollahian’s visa to be revoked.

“This visit marks the third time that the Iranian Foreign Minister will travel to the United States since Hamas’ Iranian-guided attack on Israel on October 7th,” the AAF wrote in a separate letter to the White House, sent Thursday. “Meantime, Iranian-backed Hezbollah continues to hurl rockets into Israel, Iranian-backed Houthis continue to blockade the Red Sea, sabotaging international trade routes, and Iran just launched an unprecedented attack on Israel.”

“The State Department’s decision to issue a visa to the Iranian Foreign Minister,” the groups say, “is therefore unexplainably outrageous.”

While the United States is generally obligated to grant visas to officials from hostile nations, Iran’s weekend strike on Israel should disqualify its top diplomat from attending U.N. proceedings, the groups wrote.

“The decision to allow the top ranking Iranian Foreign Minister to visit the United States is grossly unacceptable,” they wrote. “By issuing this visa, the United States is allowing Iran to use the United Nations and the United States by proxy—as a platform from which to spew antisemitic hate against Israel.”

Original News Source – Washington Free Beacon

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