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

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid