SG in Tehran; “Iran Task Force”; Camp Ashraf; Syria Briefing; Somalia

SG in Tehran: This morning the SG started meeting with leading officials in Iran including the President of the country. After arriving in Tehran this morning, the UN chief attended a working lunch at the Parliament Building with the Speaker, Ali Larijani, and other officials, followed by meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili. The SG, in meetings with both the President and the Supreme Leader, strongly conveyed the interests of the international community, touching specifically on the nuclear question and the concerns of the IAEA, Iran’s leadership in Syria, human rights in the country, as well as his condemnation of recent anti-Semitic remarks towards Israel by Iranian leadership. A full readout of the briefing be accessed here.

“Iran Task Force”: There have been reports today that the IAEA will set up an “Iran Task Force” in an attempt to focus and streamline its handling of the sensitive Iran file by concentrating experts and other resources in one unit. To mark the third annual International Day Against Nuclear Tests, held today, the SG release statement emphasizing the importance of a global ban on nuclear tests to achieve a safer and more secure world.

Camp Ashraf: UN envoy in Iraq welcomed the relocation of another group of 400 Iranian exiles to Camp Ashraf today. The issue of Camp Ashraf – located in eastern Iraq and made up of several thousand Iranian exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran – has been one of the main issues UNAMI has been working on for over 18 months. The camp will house these exiles before their eventual resettlement in third countries.

Syria Briefing: The SC will be briefed on the humanitarian situation in Syria tomorrow by DSG Jan Eliasson. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, will also be on hand to provide information to the Council. The SC had informal briefings with the new Joint Representative, Lakdhar Brahimi, this afternoon.

Somalia: Today the SC welcomed the adoption of Somalia’s provisional constitution, the inaugural meeting of its new parliament and the appointment of that body’s speaker. The Council welcomed these “landmark” events after receiving a closed-door briefing on the latest developments on Tuesday from the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Augustine Mahiga.