News / Middle East

Iranian Hopes Dashed at Non-Aligned Summit

Iranian Hopes Dashed at Non-Aligned Summiti
|| 0:00:00
X
August 31, 2012 5:30 PM
Iran hosted a summit of the 120-nation Non-Aligned movement this week. But the conference did not go exactly as Iranian leaders had hoped, with several delegates openly opposing some of Iran’s most controversial policies. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.

Iranian Hopes Dashed at Non-Aligned Summit

Al Pessin
LONDON — Iran hosted a summit of the 120-nation Non-Aligned movement this week.  But the conference did not go exactly as Iranian leaders had hoped, with several delegates openly opposing some of Iran’s most controversial policies. 

It was an extremely diverse group that met in Tehran, representing more than half the world’s countries.  Among the 120 delegation chiefs were more than two dozen heads of state.

But with such a broad-based group, it was likely to be difficult to reach agreement on anything but the most general policy pronouncements.  

That would not accommodate Iran’s hope to garner support for its nuclear program, its strident stance against the West and Israel, and its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Egypt’s newly-elected President Mohamed Morsi provided the best example of that with a sharp attack on President Assad, saying he leads an “oppressive” regime that has lost its legitimacy.  The Syrian delegation walked out in protest.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also disappointed the Iranians, who had urged him to attend the conference.  He told Iranian leaders to take “concrete” steps and fully comply with Security Council resolutions demanding inspections of its nuclear facilities.

And in the middle of the summit, the U.N.’s Atomic Energy Agency issued a report saying Iran has more than doubled the capacity of its uranium enrichment program at a secure underground site.

International experts say the facility brings large quantities of uranium dangerously close to the purity level needed to produce a nuclear weapon.  But Iran says the material will be used for medical research.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed that point at the conference, saying his country has never sought to build a nuclear weapon, but will never give up its right to have a peaceful nuclear program.

The international community has rejected such assurances in the past, without inspections and an agreement not to enrich uranium beyond a medium level of purity.  

Under Non-Aligned Movement rules, Iran will now lead the organization for three years.

But Iran expert Mark Fitzpatrick, of London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, says it will not likely be any more successful in convincing members to support its nuclear program.

“Most of those countries think Iran should cooperate with the IAEA.  And most of those countries are not going to change their position that they took at the UN Security Council or at the IAEA Board meeting when they voted against Iran.  And it’s not going to change their adherence to UN sanctions or cooperation with the U.S. sanctions,” Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick says the diverse countries of the Non-Aligned Movement have their own interests and policies, and do not have much reason to please Iran or to support a government he says many find “not so tasteful.”

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid