News / Middle East

Iran Hosts Non-aligned Summit Despite Sanctions

Carla Babb
Beginning on Sunday, representatives of nearly 120 nations will convene in Iran's capital for the summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. The conference provides a break for Iran from international isolation over its disputed nuclear program and a chance for the movement to get some unaccustomed attention.

Tehran soon will transform into a hub for more than a hundred diplomats, including several heads of state. They range from newly-elected Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is under indictment by the International Criminal Court.

The summit comes as the United Nations and the West have increased sanctions on Iran over its controversial nuclear program - one that Israel and Western nations believe Iran is using to develop atomic weapons. Iran said its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.

Jamal Abdi, of the National Iranian American Council, said Iran's hosting of the summit was decided long before the international push to further isolate Iran.

"This was a stroke of luck for Iran. This sort of fell into their laps and they're taking full advantage of it," said Abdi.

Abdi said Tehran will try to use the time in the spotlight to show Iran is not as isolated as the U. S. and the international community contend.

"You can't completely isolate a country, and the effect of these sanctions and the isolation is being oversold by the United States and the international community," he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is invited. The U.S. and Israel say that as the leader of the organization imposing sanctions, he should not go, but his spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said Ban plans to attend.

"The secretary-general looks forward to the summit as an opportunity to work with the participating heads of state and government, including the host country, toward solutions on issues that are central to the global agenda," said Nesirky.

David Tafuri, a partner at the Washington-based law firm Patton Boggs, said Ban's appearance is a critical diplomatic overture.

Tafuri said, "Engagement has to continue, and the U.S. isn't really engaged right now on a diplomatic level, so it's okay, and, in fact, important for the U.N. to continue to engage with Iran."

Tafuri said issues such as Iran's continued support of the Syrian government - and its crackdown on the opposition - will not go away.

"Iran is in a very, very difficult place. They're losing friends," said Tafuri. "Syria was one of their best friends in the world and they're probably going to lose Syria as their close ally because Assad is probably going to be forced out at some point. So Iran is becoming more and more isolated."

If not for the summit, many diplomats and leaders would not visit the Iranian capital, and analysts say Iran's respite from its troubles likely will be short-lived.

You May Like

Mugabe Dismisses Male-Female Equality

'It is not possible that women can be at par with men' incoming African Union president declares on eve of summit More

Somali Terror Suspect's Light Sentence Raises Questions

Abdullahi Yusuf, 18, could have spent 15 years in prison but judge instead sentenced him to a halfway house, and a program to try to integrate him back into the community More

Video Kobani Ravaged Following Kurdish Ouster of IS Militants

Even so, hundreds of refugees sheltering in Turkey seek to return; Kurdish forces hold some back, saying fighting continues More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mervin from: Zambia
August 27, 2012 9:45 AM
NAM should try to find ways to end Syrian crisis,In all human history wars had never solved anything.Take a look in Libya,Afghanistan,Iraq and DRC no solution only total destruction.Syrians themselves should decide their fate than letting other people beating war drums in Syria.1% will benefit and the 99% will always suffer no wonder China and Russia blocked any military move in Syria as it had been a case in Libya.


by: Anonymous
August 27, 2012 7:26 AM
And how far did they get by having this conference? All they did was dig their own grave deeper.... Deeper into seclusion, it is a shame the Iranians have leaders like this. Every Iranian I know hates their leaders, they told me not to judge them by their psychotic leaders decision making. I didn't, I knew all along that the leaders of Iran make up the decisions for the public without their say. I feel terrible for the Iranian people to have clowns like this running their country, what a sin. All the oil in the world and you have goons managing the operation. The Iranian gov could be liked around the world had they had good judgement and decision making, but they don't. It will end up with a war on their turf sooner or later. Sanctions first, then they will go in, first weaken the enemy.


by: BVB from: USA
August 25, 2012 10:43 PM
Non-Aligned Movement is a vestige of the cold war era. In those days the movement was largely spear-headed by nations sympathetic or aligned with the Soviet Union and some of the champions of the movement include the Friedal Castro of Cuba and Mrs. Indira Gandhi of India.


by: Vinayprasad from: India
August 25, 2012 8:33 AM
If 120 countries' leaders out of some 190 countries of the UN are visiting Iran and not a single one of them visiting nearby Israel, speaks of how the western world are being pushed into irrelevance in the modern world. This is a very serious issue for America and its "allies" wherein they had taken themselves for granted that they are the "leaders" of the world and whatever they say or opine is the last world on world affairs.

In Response

by: Vinayprasad from: India
August 26, 2012 1:25 AM
Godwin, you are pretending to ignore the main point of my message to suit your convenience, thereby making your comment infructuous. My main point is why a clear majority are NOT VISITING ISRAEL.

Speaking of the western world facing the danger of being pushed away from their mirage of being "on the pedestal", just have a look at the development on the Assange asylum front. Today, all the South American countries have united and threatened Britain of consequences if they arrest the whistleblower. This is not a small development.

In Response

by: Chat from: Pakistan
August 26, 2012 12:40 AM
They are not visiting India also. It shows how much India or Indians are loved

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 25, 2012 1:41 PM
You got this wrong. 120 countries are NOT visiting Iran. They are there because they had to. And you have not heard them speak. In your short memory you forget that even Ahmadinejad and the Hamas group also attend the UN general assembly in the US. The non-aligned movement is a group of countries that seek to play the role of peacemaker, and some of the attending members maybe there to dissuade Iran from its suicidal nuclear ambition. We should wait until the end of the meeting before passing judgment whether the gathering is just to show solidarity with Iran or they meet because they are members of that organization.


by: Joe Quinn from: NYC
August 24, 2012 9:23 PM
Well, well. "It's a small small world after all..." (of people who seem to hate us!)

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 25, 2012 7:14 AM
Non-aligned movement does not necessarily involve countries that hate America. More than just that, it involves countries which feel it should be a free world and that alignment to ideologies may not help the world. But at their different levels, either as a countries or peoples, much love is doled out to USA and much of their interaction follow that direction. In another word, the non-aligned movement should be a body of mediators between the aligned blocs and provide the leeway for meeting of opposing camps to dissolve teething issues. Even though this function has not been seen to be carried out by this body, and of course there are such countries as Iran, Pakistan and others especially supporting terrorism against civilization, a greater majority of the movement members are not enemies of the USA and may not support a legislation or argument that maybe potentially anti American.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid