US blocked Iran can­di­date elec­tion on cli­mate body

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

SINGAPORE: The United States govern­ment lob­bied the head of the U.N. cli­mate panel to block the ap­point­ment of an Ira­nian sci­en­tist to a key po­si­tion, say­ing it would be prob­lem­atic, leaked U.S. diplo­matic ca­bles show.

The rev­e­la­tions come amid a ma­jor UN cli­mate change meet­ing in Can­cun where ne­go­tia­tors are try­ing to work out a mod­est cli­mate change deal af­ter the 2009 Copen­hagen sum­mit ended in a brief non­bind­ing pact. At a meet­ing in Geneva in 2008, the U.S. del­e­ga­tion told Ra­jen­dra Pachauri, the head of the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change, that the elec­tion of Mostafa Jafri as one of two co-chair­man of a key cli­mate group would af­fect U.S. fund­ing of the cli­mate body. The other chair was to be an Amer­i­can ex­pert.

Jafri was a highly qual­i­fied sci­en­tist with re­search ties to United King­dom and Ja­pan, the U.S. del­e­ga­tion said in the ca­bles re­leased by Wik­iLeaks, but he was also a se­nior Ira­nian govern­ment em­ployee and that com­pli­cated U.S. ef­forts in the cli­mate con­trol body. "USDEL (US del­e­ga­tion) is work­ing ac­tively to pre­vent the elec­tion of an Ira­nian sci­en­tist to the de­vel­op­ing nation co-cha­ri­man­ship of the Work­ing Group Two, a po­si­tion which would pair him with a U.S. sci­en­tist run­ning un­op­posed for de­vel­oped-nation co-chair of the same group," the cable pub­lished The Guardian said. Shar­ing a cli­mate con­trol group with an Ira­nian of­fi­cial ran counter to over­all U.S. pol­icy to­ward Iran, the cable said. The job in­volved travel to and ex­tended res­i­den­cies in each other's coun­tries.

Washington could also not with­draw its can­di­date be­cause that would give Tehran a veto over fu­ture U.S. nom­i­nees in UN bod­ies, it said. -Reuters

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