For the 2016 UN General Assembly (UNGA), United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) held an Iran Risk Summit, on September 19 in New York, which successfully brought together a diverse group of major American, European, and Middle Eastern leaders to discuss the growing military and economic threats posed by the Iranian regime one year after the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement took effect.
Leading current and former officials who participated in the Summit included Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), the United Arab Emirates' Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba, Co-Head of the Zionist Union Party and former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and former President of the United Nations General Assembly and Bahraini Ambassador to France Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa.
UANI Advisory Board Members who participated in the Summit included former Governor of New Mexico, Secretary of Energy, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson; former Director of the Federal Intelligence Service of Germany Dr. August Hanning; former Polish Foreign and Defense Minister Radosław Sikorski; President Obama's former White House Coordinator for Arms Control and Weapons of Mass Destruction Dr. Gary Samore; and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Dr. Ray Takeyh. UANI Chairman and former U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman and UANI CEO Ambassador Mark Wallace moderated panels throughout the day.
The Summit was widely covered in U.S. and foreign language media, includingTablet, Christian Science Monitor, Haaretz, Voice of America Persian, Walla (Israel), and Okaz (Saudi Arabia). It also attracted the attention of the Iranian regime, eliciting statements from Iranian Members of Parliament Mohammad Mehdi Boroumand and Mohammad Ibrahim Rezaei. Iran's state-owned Fars News Agencyalso wrote about the Summit before and after it took place.
UANI's campaign to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its "Death to American" slogan during the course of the UN General Assembly also drew the attention of Iranian officials. UANI's kiosk, taxi, and digital ads underlined that "Death to America" is not just empty rhetoric, but in practice means Death to Americans. As the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, the Iranian regime is responsible for the deaths of more than 1,000 American soldiers and civilians--not to mention scores of others worldwide.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York on September 23, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif referenced UANI's ad campaign and said, "And you see all my pictures on the billboards and taxis saying 'death to America means death to Americans,' and I never said that in my life." The ads, in fact, did not claim that Zarif had spoken those exact words. The fact remains, however that neither Foreign Minister Zarif nor President Rouhani renounce the regime's hateful and incendiary "Death to America" slogan.