The United Nations has selected Iran to serve in a senior role on its Committee on Disarmament and International Security, an international body that deals with major global security issues.
Iran announced on Wednesday that it had been selected by UN member states to serve as the disarmament committee’s rapporteur, according to reports. The position would put Iran in charge of reporting on the committee’s proceedings and actions.
The appointment was made shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the UN’s General Assembly to warn the world that Iran is only months away from having the capabilities to build a nuclear weapon.
The disarmament committee is chaired by Libya, an unstable country where weapons have freely flowed to al Qaeda fighters following the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Iran’s presence on the disarmament committee has raised concerns among foreign policy observers who argue that it is wrong to give the nuclear ambitious regime a plum spot on a critical committee.
"I'm just surprised that the UN never got around to hiring Michael Jackson to work in its daycare center," said former Pentagon advisor Michael Rubin. "This seems about as good an idea."
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also slammed the UN for allowing Iran to join the committee.
"This action, which comes on a day dominated by the discussion about Iran’s nuclear weapons program and Syria’s use of chemical weapons, represents the height of hypocrisy at the UN," the ADL said in a statement. "Iran’s appointment to a leadership role in a body charged with disarmament and counteracting threats to peace is simply unbelievable."
Iran has violated multiple international conventions and threatened to destroy UN member state Israel, the ADL said.
"The international community’s greatest global challenge is the Iranian regime with its countless violations of international conventions, and threats to peace through its nuclear weapons program and sponsorship of world-wide terrorism," the ADL said. "Iran’s election to be the face of the First Committee in the General Assembly only serves to further undermine the UN’s credibility."
The UN committee is primarily responsible for the "strengthening of the disarmament regimes in respect to other weapons of mass destruction, and chemical and biological weapons," according to its website.
It also works on "disarmament efforts in the area of conventional weapons, especially landmines and small arms, which are the weapons of choice in contemporary conflicts."
On the same day that it joined the disarmament committee, Iranian military leaders announced the development on several new combat drones and other weapons.
One new unmanned drone can reportedly run missions for up to 24 continuous hours and "fire rockets at targets with a high precision capability," Iran’s state run media quoted military leaders as saying.
Another newly unveiled combat drone can reportedly evade radar systems and target enemies from afar, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency.
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani also stepped up his anti-Israel rhetoric as Iran geared up to join the UN body.
Rowhani told the regional press that Israel’s concern over his country’s nuclear program brings him joy.
"That an aggressive regime in the region names Iran with coarse language is the cause of our happiness," Rowhani was quoted as saying on Wednesday. "Israel is upset to see that its sword has gone blunt and Iran grows more powerful day by day."