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

By Adam Kredo, FREE BEACON   18 April 2024

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.”

April 19, 2024 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. ADAM-

    I have an not very friendly cousin who is chief surgeon In Rabin Centre at the moment and who is the most famous neurosurgeon/(moh)el in Israel. He rarely responds to my emails but I will write to him asking for a referral to an Israeli expert, quoting your ailments if that’s O.K. with you. You can post your thoughts.
    His name is Steve Jackson. His late father, my cousin was a close friend when Stevie was a kicking and screaming little divvil. His first wife was Elie Wiesel’s elder sister. They were both wonderful people unlike their son.

    He may or may not respond; in the meantime following Peloni’s suggestion might be locally more beneficial.

    You went to the wrong Urologist who dismissed antibiotic aid without trying it first, preferring to “theorise”.

  2. Adam
    I am sorry to read of your medical difficulties and am hoping for your speedy recovery. I think that the use of a second opinion is always an important first step in accepting such concerning news as your physicians have given you. In fact, as I have often noted, medicine is more of an art than a science, and it is important to confirm difficult prognoses rather than to simply accept them. Personally, I would seek out a local physician, one who can assess you in person rather than a tele-medicine. There is however no reason why you could not do both, and if I were in your position, I would almost certainly do exactly that, such is my inclination towards placing confirmation over trust.

    In any event, I would like to extend my gratitude to you for sharing your situation with us, and accepting the kind and well informed suggestions as Edgar presented. It takes a special form of courage to interact on such a personal basis, and for my part, I earnestly appreciate your doing so.

    I have long appreciated your commentaries, beginning long before I myself began posting my own thoughts here. Your approach to teasing apart such nuances as many would simply accept has always motivated me to emulate this deft skill, albeit with far less success than you commonly demonstrate. Indeed your near encyclopedic knowledge on so many topics has been both equal parts of mesmerizing and inspiring to your many readers. Hence, I look forward to many more years discussing the fine details of history and world events with you.

    Get well soon my friend. The world has too few men such as yourself to have one less.

  3. Edgar, your suggestion that my condition could be treated with antibiotics is an excellent idea. Once, years ago, I suffered from a similar condition and it did responsd to antibiotics. The uologist I consulted thought my condition was solely the result of diabetes and could not be treated with antibiotics, only insulin and some sort of insulin substitute. But I would welcome a second opinion. Thanks for the suggestion. If you or Ted could put me in touch with an Israeli physician who might be willing to give me advice over the internet or via iphone, I will much appreciate it.

  4. @Edgar, drreuveni, and all other commenters: Please forgive my maudlin appeal for sympathy and crying on your shoulders. Yes, I do have health issues. But who doesn’t at the age of 75? I have no rational basis for thinking my my health problems are worse than any of my fellow Israpundit readers. Maybe my real problem is that 75 I am still struggling to grow up. But in any case, my deep thanks for all of you who have prayed for me or simply expressed sympathy and concern. I have always been a ‘loner” and have never had many friends. But I consider all of my fello Israpundit readers and commenters my friends. Thanks again.

  5. Adam-

    I’m so deeply sorry to hear your assessment of your ailments. Surely antibiotics, and lifestyle change can lengthen lifespan.

    I’ve been reading up on it, and think. Maybe, through Ted you can contact Israeli experts. I pray that you have many years yet .
    We became friends ever since you spontaneously offered to drive to where I was and help move my belongings. I always consider myself your friend, and respect your posts and perspective on this site. Always cogent and perceptive.
    We all benefit from it.

    Just to let you know.

  6. @Adam Hear! Hear! And, speaking as a fourth generation New Yorker – on my mother’s side – their diplomatic immunity should be revoked retroactively and they should have to pay 76 years worth of parking tickets. With quarterly compounded interest.

    Sorry to hear you are unwell.

  7. The UN should definitely withdraw from the United Nations, and cut off all funding for this organization, which has been permanently hijacked by the forces of darkness, It should then form a “rival” international organization in which only countries can meet a reasonable test for being “democracies” would be permitted to join.