Ban and Ahmadinejad 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A day after the United States publicly called on United Nations
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon not to go to Tehran Sunday to participate in the
Non-Aligned Movement’s leadership summit, Ban’s office Tuesday refused to say
whether he had decided to attend.
A spokesman in his office offered only
a “no comment” on Iranian media reports saying Ban finalized his plans to attend
the summit of the 120- country NAM. At that meeting, the Islamic Republic will
take over the bloc’s three-year rotating presidency.
whether Ban had yet made up his mind regarding whether to attend, the spokesman
repeated that he would not comment on media reports. The summit is scheduled to
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said
when asked about the possibility of Ban attending, as well as the scheduled
attendance of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy – that the US does not think Iran
“is deserving of these high-level presences that are going there.”
is going to try to manipulate this NAM summit and the attendees to advance its
own agenda, and to obscure the fact that it is failing to live up to multiple
obligations that it has to the UN Security Council, the International Atomic
Energy Agency and other international bodies,” she said.
Nuland said the
US hoped that those who do attend the conference will take the opportunity of
any meetings with Iran’s leaders “to press them to come back into compliance, to
use the opportunity of the P5+1 talks [with world powers US, Russia, China,
France, Britain and Germany] to come clean about their nuclear program, and take
up all of the other concerns that the international community has about Iran’s
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Ban some two
weeks ago and urged him against attending the conference, saying that doing so
would grant international legitimacy to Iran. Diplomatic officials said that if
Ban attends, a number of other leaders of NAM states may
Diplomatic officials have played down the significance of Morsy’s
visit, the first Egyptian presidential visit to Iran in some 30
Morsy’s attendance at the meeting was not within the framework of
bilateral ties, the officials said, but rather to transfer the leadership of NAM
– which Egypt has held over the last three years – to Iran.