As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deliberates on whether to take part in the
Non-Aligned Movement’s summit of leaders at the end of the month in Tehran, Iran
is already trumpeting the meeting as a sign that the country is not
According to Iran’s Press TV, head of the parliament’s National
Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi said earlier this week
that the summit is a “great achievement” for Iran that will dispel the idea the
country is isolated internationally.
“Iran’s enemies have repeated this
big lie every now and then. Nevertheless, the presence of leaders and
representatives of 120 NAM member countries in Tehran will display the great
potential of Iran,” Boroujerdi said.
He said NAM member states have
“voiced support for the Islamic Republic’s peaceful nuclear activities in
At the 16th summit meeting of NAM leaders, which will
be held August 26-31, Iran will take over from Egypt the chairmanship of the
organization for the next three years.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Khamenei is scheduled to address the meeting that Israel fears will give Iran
the legitimacy it covets at a time of stiff sanctions.
The spokesman for
the conference, Muhammad Reza Forghani, said last week that Ban will attend the
Farhan Haq, a spokesman for Ban in New York, told The
Jerusalem Post however, that no announcement has been made whether he will
attend. Asked whether Ban was planning to go to the summit, the spokesman said
that there would be no comment until an announcement was made.
addition to Ban, the Iranians have also said both Russian President Vladimir
Putin and Turkish President Abdullah Gul were going to attend.
official said that Iranian announcements about who is attending should be taken
with a grain of salt, because they are trying to use the summit as a showcase
that the world is not against them. The official said that some of those
who do attend will be doing so more out of a feeling of solidarity with NAM than
out of wanting to bestow legitimacy on Iran.
Israel, which is lobbying
Ban not to attend the meeting, is also trying to get other countries in the
movement with which it has good ties to send low-level representatives. This
will be more difficult, diplomatic officials said, if Ban decides to go to the
Netanyahu, in a telephone conversation with Ban on Friday,
appealed to him to stay away from the event.
“Mr. Secretary-General, your
place is not in Tehran,” he said.
Netanyahu said Ban’s attendance would
be a “major mistake,” even if carried out with good intentions, and that such a
move would “grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world
peace and security.”
The prime minister said Ban’s participation in
Tehran would “stain” both the secretary-general and the UN.
news agency quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as
saying Israel’s efforts to dissuade world officials from attending were futile
since “independent states would never change their opinions and views for the
sake of the officials of this illegitimate regime, which has no weight in
Mehmanparast also dismissed Netanyahu’s
conversation with Ban, saying he did not think the secretary-general’s stance
“can be influenced by these measures.”