Some would interpret that Iran’s recruiting 120 nations to participate in a “developing nations’” summit indicates that “Western isolation” isn’t working. Such would be a reasonable conclusion. It also might be a reasonable conclusion that the 120 nations are those who have been left behind by the West. What’s going on here?
It is called the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). The price of membership begins with opposition to sanctions against Iran. If you oppose such sanctions, then what do members receive in return besides Western scorn?
By the way, the movement isn’t a new one, it has been in business since 1961. Therefore, there is a track record and members and others can measure its success.
Here is a red flag; attendees include “U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s new president, Mohammad Mursi – the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution – will give the meeting diplomatic heft.”
How will America react to that?
Normally a meeting announcement isn’t news, but a meeting of this sort in the context of Middle East uprisings in Syria and the developing situation in Egypt and Palestine, of course, warrants consideration.
NAM had an interesting beginning. Founded by Yugolslania’s Tito in 1961 with India’s first prime minister, Nehru and Egypt’s second president, Nasser as well as Ghana’s first president, Nkrumah and Indonesia’s first president Sukarno.
Fidel Castro explained the purpose of the organization in 1979, “to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics”
Disarmament and peace are words that are used by the members, historically. Talk that up with the Iranian hosts.
Looking at the member list, I would say that there are a few nations on the list who can provide substantial economic assistance to the members such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Note to Hillary Clinton: Strike all names from U.S. Foreign aid. Get out of the UN now.
“Iran, defying Western isolation, opens developing nations summit
4:47 a.m. CDT, August 26, 2012
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran welcomed a group of 120 developing nations on Sunday to a summit it says proves that Washington has failed to isolate it from the rest of the world.
Opening the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Tehran, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said he hoped for a show of solidarity against sanctions the West has imposed to punish Iran for its nuclear activities.
“The non-aligned (movement) must seriously oppose … unilateral economic sanctions which have been enacted by certain countries against non-aligned countries,” Salehi told the summit’s opening session.
Western diplomats have sought to downplay the importance of the summit and the start of Iran’s three-year presidency of NAM, a body set up in 1961 to counter big power domination of international relations.
But 80 countries are participating in the summit at the level of minister or higher, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, with 50 sending their heads of government.
And the expected attendance of big players including U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s new president, Mohammad Mursi – the first Egyptian leader to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution – will give the meeting diplomatic heft.
Since the toppling of Egypt’s Western-backed President Hosni Mubarak last year, non-Arab Iran has hoped for a thaw in relations with the regional power, but Cairo has appeared less eager to embrace Shi’ite Muslim Iran which is viewed with suspicion by its Sunni Gulf Arab neighbours.
“The presence of the Egyptian president in Tehran will help develop Tehran-Cairo relations,” Mehmanparast told reporters.
Divisions within the Muslim Middle East were also evident when Tehran moved to deny media reports that it had invited Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip.
“From Palestine, only Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, has been invited to Tehran for participation in this summit, and an official invitation has not been sent to any other individual,” Mehr quoted Mehmanparast as saying.
With the Syrian crisis likely to dominate talks, Iran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad, who is using heavy weaponry against an uprising that threatens to have repercussions around the region, is likely to face scrutiny.
Mehmanparast said Iran expected to consult with countries on the sidelines of the summit on a “comprehensive package” to resolve the Syria crisis.
Tehran has declared a five-day holiday in the capital to ease traffic pressures and potential security problems.
Conservative cleric Ahmad Khatami warned opposition activists, in an interview published last week, not to use the NAM summit as a chance to rekindle their protests which brought huge numbers to the streets in 2009 to protest against the re-election of hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
An opposition group based outside the country has asked U.N. chief Ban to ask to meet opposition leaders Mirhossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi who have been held under house arrest since February 2011 as the Arab Spring uprisings raged in the Middle East.
(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)