US bristles at Iran leadership of UN disarmament talks

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The administration maintains that countries such as Iran that are under UN sanctions for weapons proliferation or human-rights abuses should be barred from formal or ceremonial roles at the UN. 

“While the presidency of the CD is largely ceremonial and involves no substantive responsibilities, allowing Iran – a country that is in flagrant violation of its obligations under multiple UN Security Council Resolutions and to the IAEA Board of Governors – to hold such a position runs counter to the goals and objectives of the Conference on Disarmament itself,” the U.S. Mission to the UN said in a statement. “As a result, the United States will not be represented at the ambassadorial level during any meeting presided over by Iran.”

Iran is scheduled to take over as president of the Conference on Disarmament on May 28. Under the conference's rules of procedure, any decision to expel a member state would have to be taken by consensus, meaning any member could block such action - including Iran.