'Isolated' Iran boasts kings, PMs at NAM summit

Tehran opens conference with diatribe against Israel, exhibits cars of nuclear scientists "killed by Zionist regime elements."

Flags of the Non-Aligned Movement members 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)
Flags of the Non-Aligned Movement members 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi)
As the West continues to urge Israel to let sanctions and diplomacy – including isolation – play out on Iran, Tehran on Sunday convened the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit and immediately began milking the event for propaganda and anti- Israel purposes.
The Iranian press also used the convention to demonstrate how the country is anything but isolated.
“Tehran to host 2 kings, 27 presidents, 7 PMs for NAM summit,” was the headline on the official Fars news agency on Saturday. The headline left out perhaps the most prized participant – UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon.
The report said that in total 100 states have announced their participation at different levels.
There are 120 member countries and 17 observer countries in the movement.
Delegates attending the first meetings of the conference Sunday morning were greeted at the entrance to the convention center by an exhibition of the cars of three Iranian nuclear scientists assassinated in recent months.
The exhibition, according to the official Islamic Republic News Agency, “displays the cars carrying martyrs Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, Dariush Rezaienezhad and Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan when they were assassinated.
The three scientists as well as Majid Shahriari were assassinated by Zionist regime elements.”
Another exhibit at the conference, according to IRNA, is one dubbed “Iran, victim of terrorism,” that shows “in picture the history of terrorist attacks in Iran, in different languages, after the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.”
Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi addressed the opening meeting of the NAM conference by blasting Israel, saying – according to Fars – that the “tragedy of Palestine” is “the root cause of conflicts in the region.”
“We, as the main part of the international community, want a just policy to determine the fate of the Palestinians and oppose the illegitimate acts of the Zionist regime,” Salehi said. He was quoted by the news agency as saying that peace in the region is not possible through support for the Zionist regime’s “blind terrorism, occupation and torture.”
In an indication of how Iranian officialdom will use the conference for its own purposes, Iranian Defense Minister Brig.-Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said Sunday that the summit “demonstrates the Islamic Iran’s thriving power,” despite “all the propaganda launched [by the West] about Iran’s isolation on the international scene.”
“Surely, holding the summit in Iran can give more power to the Islamic Republic ruling system and create abundant opportunities in the international arena,” the minister said, according to Fars.
NAM was formed in 1961 by countries claiming not be aligned with any of the major superpowers, and is one of the largest grouping of countries outside the United Nations.
Iran will hold the rotating chairmanship of the organization for the next three years.
One Israeli government official lamented that the summit in Tehran gives the Iranian regime a chance to “showcase that it is not isolated, to say there is no serous diplomatic pressure, and to give the regime a chance to show its own people it has friends and allies.”