Both in terms of form and content, the NAM meeting highlighted the superiority of Iran’s diplomacy over and against Washington’s bellicose posturing and improvised diversionary tactics.Iran hosted, chaired and led the recently rejuvenated Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in Teheran, attended by delegates from more than 100 countries, including 35 heads of state. Even United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon, the notorious mouthpiece of Washington, felt obligated to address a forum attended by two-thirds of the member countries of the UN, despite US State Department and Israeli objections. Any objective evaluation of the meeting, its venue, the attendance, resolutions and political impact leads to one paramount conclusion: the NAM meeting was a strategic diplomatic victory for Iran and a major defeat for the US, Israel and the European Union. The entire US-Israeli-EU diplomatic and propaganda effort to isolate and stigmatize Iran, especially over the past decade, was shredded. The politics of attendance Attendance by representatives of more than 100 countries demonstrates that Iran is not a ‘pariah state;’ it is an accepted member of the international community. The presence of heads of state and foreign secretaries demonstrates that Iran is considered a noteworthy and significant political actor, not a state to be isolated and shunned. The proceedings, debates and discussions among and between the delegates and Iranian leaders convinced those attending that Teheran gives primacy to reasonable dialogue in resolving international conflicts. Both in terms of form and content, the NAM meeting highlighted the superiority of Iran’s diplomacy over and against Washington’s bellicose posturing and improvised diversionary tactics. The fact that the meeting took place in Teheran, that Iran was elected chair, that a major part of the NAM agenda and subsequent resolutions coincided with Iran’s democratic foreign policy highlights Washington’s policy failures and its isolation on issues of major concern to the larger international community. Pandering to the domestic Zionist power configuration has a high cost in the sphere of international politics. NAM resolutions: Iran versus Washington-Israel The centerpiece of US and Israeli strategic policy has been to claim that Iran’s nuclear energy program, including the enrichment of uranium, is a threat to world peace and in particular to Israel and the Persian Gulf states. The NAM meeting repudiated that position, affirming Iran’s right to develop a peaceful nuclear program including the enrichment of uranium. NAM rejected Western sanctions against Iran and other countries. In fact many of the leading members, including India, brought delegations of business executives in pursuit of new economic contracts. NAM declared its support for a nuclear-free Middle East and called for an independent Palestinian state based on the 1969 borders with al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, in total repudiation of Washington’s unconditional support of the nuclear-armed Israeli regime.
NAM rejected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s proposal to support the Western-backed armed mercenaries fighting the Syrian government, a major blow to Washington’s effort to secure international support for regime change.NAM unanimously approved several resolutions which affirmed its anti-imperialist principles in direct opposition to US imperial positions: it rejected the US blockade of Cuba; it affirmed Argentina’s sovereignty over the Malvinas Islands; it opposed the Paraguayan coup; it supported Ecuador in its dispute with Great Britain on asylum for Assange; it selected Venezuela as the site for the next NAM meeting; it rejected terrorism in all of its forms and modalities, including the state-sponsored variant. Western propaganda media: self-serving diversions A mass media blitz sought to counter the resounding diplomatic successes of the Iranian hosts of the NAM meeting by diverting attention to relatively marginal events. The Financial Times and the New York Times, the BBC and the Washington Post featured a speech by Egyptian President Morsi calling for NAM support for the Western-backed armed mercenaries invading Syria. The media did not mention that no delegation took up his proposal. NAM not only ignored Morsi but unanimously approved a resolution opposing Western intervention and affirming the right of self-determination, clearly applicable to the case of Syria. While NAM defended Iran’s right to develop its peaceful nuclear program, the mass media publicized a dubious “report” authored by US favorite, Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) questioning Iran’s compliance the agency’s requirements. Not surprisingly, the report by Amano carried no weight in the deliberations of the delegates present at the NAM summit, given his notoriety as a front-man for Israeli and US pro-war propaganda. Overall the mass media deliberately ignored or underplayed the resolutions, dialogue and democratic procedures of the NAM meeting in an effort to cover up the enormous political gulf between the US, Israel, the EU and the vast majority of the international community. The political impact of the NAM conference NAM seriously undermined the images of the Middle East conflicts which US policymakers and their acolytes in the EU and Persian Gulf States project: the political reality, which came out of the meetings emphasized that it is the US, Israel and the EU, who are outside the mainstream international community. It is the US and EU who lack political allies in the pursuit of colonial wars. It is the Israeli occupation of Palestine and Washington’s policies of ‘regime change’ in Syria and Iran which lack allies. It is Iran’s peaceful nuclear program which has legitimacy, not Israel’s nuclear arsenal. The Iranian leadership gained prestige via its openness to international dialogue. In contrast, its regional Persian Gulf adversaries, who rely on multi-billion dollar US arms purchases and military bases, were denigrated and discredited. The Iranian proposals to reform the United Nations to make it more democratic and responsive to emerging countries and less a tool of US-EU policymakers resonated throughout the conference. The emphasis on free trade was manifest in the large economic delegations who attended eagerly to sign agreements in defiance of US-engineered sanctions. Conclusion Temporarily, the NAM conference may have lessened the threat of a military attack against Iran by demonstrating the political cost of alienating two thirds of the UN Assembly. Nevertheless, by demonstrating the Israeli regime’s total isolation, (and its truly pariah status in the international community), NAM may have heightened the pathological paranoia of the Israeli leadership and hastened its move toward a catastrophic war. The follow-up of the NAM resolutions requires a permanent organization, a minimum coordinating secretariat to ensure compliance and rapid responses to crises. Otherwise, the good intentions and positive moves toward peace via dialogue will be inconsequential. The mobilization of the NAM members in the UN General Assembly is crucial to withstand the blackmail, bribes, threats and corruption which are used by the Western powers to secure majorities on crucial votes regarding US sanctions, coups and military intervention. Trade, investment and cultural boycotts of Israel should be promoted and enforced, until the Israeli reigme ends its occupation of Palestine. Clearly, Iran, as the newly elected leader of NAM, has a major role to play in ensuring that the Tehran meeting of 2012 becomes the basis for a revitalization of the movement. Iran can play a constructive leadership role which will continue to promote a plural collective format based on common anti-imperialist principles. JP/HJL