Bibi's 'Arrogance' Pushed Ban Ki-Moon to Tehran

Pressure by Netanyahu on U.N. Chief Backfired

By Haaretz

Published August 27, 2012.
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The pressure exercised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to cancel his trip to the Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Tehran apparently boomeranged. According to blogger Colum Lynch, who provides reports and analysis on the United Nations for the Foreign Policy website, the Prime Minister’s Office campaign only convinced Ban that it was vital for him to fly to Tehran and present a peace initiative related to the nuclear crisis.

According to Lynch, senior UN officials “said that Netanyahu’s public appeal to Ban – delivered in what staffers viewed as a condescending tone – backfired, fortifying Ban’s resolve to go.”

About a week ago, Netanyahu called Ban to ask him to cancel his appearance at the conference in Iran. But instead of exercising discretion about his conversation with the UN secretary-general, after the call Netanyahu hurried to issue a lengthy press release, in which he detailed everything he had said to Ban on the phone.

Ban’s office was furious that Netanyahu had “leaked” the contents of the conversation, and Ban’s fury only increased when he discovered that within days their conversation had morphed into an entire campaign. The Prime Minister’s Office initiated a social media drive, calling on Web surfers to send e-mails to the UN secretary-general asking him not to fly to Tehran.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


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