10/17/2008, 00.00
IRAN
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Iran seeks seat on UN security council

The regime of the mullahs has no practical possibility of obtaining the necessary two thirds vote of the United Nations assembly, but it is counting on gaining prestige from participating.

Tehran (AsiaNews) - Iran is seeking to join the UN security council, although, at the moment, it is under sanctions from the same body for its nuclear program. Today the UN assembly will vote to elect five of the ten non-permanent members of the highest body of the United Nations. One of the seats is set aside for an Asian country. This is currently occupied by Indonesia, but now Japan and Iran are vying to replace it.

Tehran presented its candidacy in 2007. In doing so, it asserted that Iran has played an "undeniable" role in the area of regional security, and that it is "firmly committed to pursuing the realization of the goal of a world free from weapons of mass destruction." This assertion comes from this semi-official news agency Fars, which emphasizes that Iran is one of the founding countries of the UN, and has been part of the security council only once, from 1955-1956. The same source reports the fact that Japan has spent a total of 18 years on the council. And according to published reports, Tehran is believed to have sought the support of Tokyo, in exchange for its own support of Japanese candidacy for one of the permanent seats on the council, in a future reorganization of the UN.

In order to be elected as one of the non-permanent members, two thirds of the votes are needed from them the 192 member states of the UN assembly. Iran has practically no chance, in spite of the fact that the voting takes place in secret, and therefore provides an opportunity for demonstrations of support for an anti-Western and anti-Israeli country. But the very fact of candidacy - and of obtaining votes - is considered by some countries as indicative of international prestige, in that it permits presenting oneself as an outsider.

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