Within minutes of the beginning of a United Nations conference on racism, it became clear that the United States and several other countries had good reason to boycott the event.
Speaking at the start of the conference in Switzerland, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched another of his vicious attacks against Israel, the United States and some European nations. He accused Israel of being the "most cruel and racist regime." He claimed that the United States and some European countries were guilty of "military aggression" to establish the Jewish state after World War II.
The United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Poland are boycotting the conference. Leaders of those countries feared that it would be used as a forum to promote, not battle, racism.
Clearly, they were right.
If the conference serves no other purpose, it at least is a warning to President Barack Obama that Ahmadinejad's claim that he wants better relations between our two countries needs to be viewed with skepticism. Clearly, Iranian leaders still want to destroy Israel - and handle their diplomatic initiatives in that context.
That is not a recipe for reconciliation between Iran and nations such as the United States.