NAM vs. UN…again.

The NAM conference in Tehran continues to be anti-UN under Iran’s agenda.

The Iranian supreme leader the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei held nothing back in his meeting with the UN secretary Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday and in his speech at the conference today. Khamenei had openly criticized the UN by telling Ki-Moon that the organization is “defected”, that the UN Security Council is “illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic” and that the IAEA, the UN’s nuclear watchdog is purposefully “sabotaging” the Iranian nuclear program.

These accusations by the Iranian supreme leader are in-line with much concern that the Iranian regime plan to use the conference and their three year term as the NAM presidents to undermine the UN.

Indeed, during his opening ceremony speech earlier today Khamenei stated that the world is in transition to a “new world order”. It must be noted that the Iranian regime are not only talking about enforcing a new world order, but are also taking action. For example, while Khamenei had openly attacked the United Nations Security Council’s permanent members, organization and processes, other members did not hide the Iranian regime’s real intentions and have declared that NAM should have a permanent representation in this institution.

At first glance, this seems like a legitimate request that would increase the NAM’s influence, however, when one considers the fact that Iran will serve as the NAM president for the next three years, and would therefore be the NAM representative, Iran’s real intention – having influence in the security council, becomes clear. To date there has been no official comments from Mr. Ban Ki-Moon nor from any of the members of the UN Security Council including Russia and China.

As usual, Khamenei reiterated that nuclear weapons are viewed by Iran as a “great sin” -based on an alleged “fatwa” (a religious decree) by Khamenei himself on this matter – and as such, Iran’s nuclear program is and will remain peaceful even introducing a new motto: “Nuclear energy for all and nuclear weapons for none.” Admittedly, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon did stress in his meetings with both Khamenei and the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that “concrete steps” are needed to prove that Iran’s nuclear program is meant for peaceful use, clearly disregarding Khamenei’s fatwa as proof of Iran’s peaceful intentions.

Time will tell whether concrete proof will ever exist or whether Iran will simply “come out of its nuclear closet” n the day it finally does have THE bomb. It is important to note here that Khamenei’s “nuclear fatwa” can be rescinded by himself at any time and that Islamic Taqiyya laws allow Khamenei (and all Muslims) to lie if it is meant to protect Muslims. This might be very convenient if Iran is in fact building a bomb as we speak.

The mix between Iran’s aspirations for a new world order, its request to become a member of the UN Security Council and its aspiration for nuclear capabilities are reasons for much concern by the Western powers and should actually concern most of the NAM members as well since Iran may lead the world into a global and nuclear powered conflict.

History has shown that leaders, such as Adolph Hitler, issuing peaceful intentions can lie and that leaders who ignore the warning signs, such as Neville Chamberlain, can be gullible. “Peace in our times”? If Iran’s agenda comes to fruition, definitely not. History, in the future, will tell.

Advertisements

UN Secretary General should condemn Iran’s “addiction to death”

A thorough assessment of Iran’s new amendments to the penal code undertaken by Human Rights Watch (HRW) had concluded that the amendments “fail to address serious human rights concerns”.

The document titled “Codifying Repression – An assessment of Iran’s New Penal Code” goes into great detail describing the human rights violations that the new amendments impose. These human rights violations extend from unfair trials, through torturous and cruel punishments, to death penalty for children.

Among the most horrific human rights violations are illegal executions, and this is one violation that Iran seems to be addicted to. HRW put much emphasis on the extent of crimes that could result in illegal executions in Iran. Namely, HRW criticize the “draconian” anti-narcotic amendments which result in the execution of many defendants who were found guilty of drug related crimes. Like amnesty international, HRW stress that these executions stand in stark contrast to international law due to the fact that executions are only permitted for “the most serious” crimes of which drug related offenses are not included.

Public hangings in Iran

However, as noted above, illegal executions are not the only human rights violating punishments undertaken by the Iranian regime, HRW also report that the new penal code still retains “punishments that amount to torture or cruel and degrading treatments, such as stoning, flogging and amputation”.

It is further worth noting that apart from the human rights violating legislation, judiciary process and punishment, HRW also report that the new amendments still uphold “discriminatory provisions against women and religious minorities”. For example, while the criminal liability age for girls is 9, for boys, this age stands at 15. This results in the fact that girls can be illegally executed 6 years younger in age than boys.

This report comes amidst serious concern in the Iranian regime that a civil protest will occur during the NAM summit. The Iranian citizens who suffer from these horrific human rights violations and who lose 133,000,000$ dollars per day due to the Iranian nuclear program are desperate for the world community to intervene.

Since the UN secretary general and other world leaders are attending the summit, Iran 24/07 calls upon these leaders and specially Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to protest against the serious human rights violations undertaken by the Iranian regime. World leaders in Tehran should take the opportunity to meet with local opposition leaders, protest against these human rights violations and show support for the Iranian civilians whose leaders seem more interested in staging a world-wide, and probably nuclear, confrontation.

NAM Update Day 3- Nuclear Agenda and Ban Ki Moon’s Visit

As the summit continues it becomes clearer that Iran has indeed prepared the event with a very specific agenda in mind. Reports from both Farsi and western press suggest that the emphasis in the debates, as well as the exhibitions and formal tours, will be first and foremost on establishing legitimacy for Iran’s nuclear abilities. Daily News Website Reports:

“Tehran aims to use the Non-Aligned Movement summit as a ground for defending its controversial nuclear program. Participants are expected to visit Parchin site, while Natanz and Bushehr will host high profile officials…”

Question has to be asked – How come, after months and years of consistent refusal, Iran is suddenly letting visitors in certain nuclear facilities? One has to assume that something has changed – either in the facilities or the agenda.

Iran is obviously seeking legitimacy also for it’s aspirations to rise as an alternative to the UN leadership. For example, ISNA reported a proposal to establish and alternative bank to service the NAM members, in order to avoid the effects of sanctions.

What is expected of Ban Ki Moon in this light and under these circumstances?

It was well put by Dokhi Fassihian of United for Iran:

“The Secretary General should specifically call on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to Allow the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran appointed last year by the UN Human Rights Council to visit the country and pledge sustained cooperation with the mandate; Release more than 30 earthquake relief workers and volunteers arrested this week by security forces; release the over 500 political prisoners languishing in Iranian jails, including leading opposition figures, civic activists, human rights defenders, journalists, and artists…

And  more urgent Ki-Moon must address right here.

We must add to that – Ban Ki Moon must use this opportunity to ask the Iranian leaders the hardest questions: What are their nuclear intentions? What will they be doing to resolve Human rights repeated violations in their country? What is their commitment to the UN and to World peace? This will justify his visit’ rather than let it become a reassuring gesture for unknown intentions.

NAM Update Day 2- Iran’s democratic hypocrisy

The opening address of the 16th NAM conference taking place in Tehran confirmed suspicions that Iran intended to hijack the conference in order to promote her own agendas.

During his address, the Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi had called for “fundamental” changes in the UN structure and for the uplifting of the UN sanctions imposed upon Iran. These calls were clearly directed as an attempt to form a voting coalition composed of NAM member states in order to provide support for Iran in the upcoming UN general assembly in September.

Iran clearly has many issues with the UN:

  • Economic: the current economic sanctions against Iran are based on UN resolutions and Iran is doing her best to rally it’s NAM allies to free itself from these sanctions by either selling its oil directly to other countries or by creating a voting coalition to drop the sanctions.
  • Nuclear: after three rounds of talks between Iran and the IAEA, a UN organization, access for IAEA inspectors is still denied to certain sites and numerous key questions remain unanswered leading to growing suspicions that Iran’s nuclear program is meant for military and political purposes.
  • Political: Iran makes it no secret that it believes that the UN is less than fair in its dealings with Iran through pressure by “colonialist-imperialist” countries such as the UN and EU countries.

It is therefore obvious that Iran wants to position NAM members with her against the UN. Ironically, Mr. Salehi stated that Iran’s support for restructuring the UN comes from concern for the democratic process within the UN. However, it seems that Iran’s concern for democratic processes is in stark contrast with her actions over the past decades and within the conference itself including a much publicized  meeting with North Korean foreign minister Pak Ui-Chun.

Not only did Mr.Salehi not protest against North Korea’s undemocratic nature, but he actually declared Iran’s readiness for expanding bilateral relations between Iran and North Korea.

Iran’s dubious actions in supporting democracy do not end with the expressed intention of expanding bilateral relationships with North Korea, but also extend to the fact that during the conference Iran intends to host representatives from a further brutal dictatorship- Syria. Hosting representatives from the Syrian dictatorship is a direct continuation of Iran’s military and diplomatic efforts to help Assad regain control in Syria.

Indeed, it is interesting to note that the three countries (Iran, North Korea and Syria) are among the greatest oppressors of what Salehi himself had noted during his opening address as being one of the NAM’s “traditionally” important issues- human rights. While the Syrian regime continues the massacre of her own civilians and the North Korean regime bluntly ignores the hunger of hers, the Iranian regime not only suppresses the fundamental right of freedom of speech, holds political prisoners, derogates females, denies the right for a fair trial, but even, takes part in illegal excecutions.

It is at this point that one must ask- how can the UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon and other leaders from democracy supporting countries allow themselves to attend a conference led, and attended by, the world’s greatest human rights oppressing countries? How can these leaders, by their presence at the conference, support Iran’s agenda which tends to be wholly undemocratic, dismissive of human rights, war-mongering and definitely at odds with the UN.

Whether they realize it or not, it is finally time to choose sides for or against Iran simply because Iran leaves little leeway for other options. If Iran’s agenda materializes, history books in the future will be filled by the names of the leaders who passively or actively supported Iran by their presence, their votes or their military/financial support.

This is not only the case of evil prevailing because (as Edmund Burke said) “good men do nothing”, but also the case of evil prevailing because of good men and women taking the wrong actions!

NAM Update – After Palestinian Authority Outrage, Iran Cancels Invitation of the Terror Organisation Hamas

In order not to further embarrass the Iranian regime, Hamas will decline Iran’s invitation to the non-aligned conference in Tehran. The cancelation comes after the invite by the Iranian regime had evoked a “furious response” response from the Palestinian Authority.

Hamas, a globally recognised terrorist organisation [e.g. by the US, EU, Canada & Australia) who were responsible for a civil war in 2007 which claimed the lives of 161 Palestinians and injured a further 700 were invited by the Iranian regime to attend th NAM conference hosted in Teheran between the 26th and the 31st of August.

The ties between Hamas and Iran have been well documented over the years and include (but not limited to) financial and military co-operation. This cooperation has resulted in the formation and establishment of Hamas as it is known today. This fact can be seen in the statement issued by the Hamas prime minister Ismail Hania:  “The Palestinian resistance is robust and strong now owing to such support from Iran.”

The revelation of Hamas’s invite to the NAM summit comes amidst much concern among the global community that Iran will hijack the conference and her time as the NAM president in order to progress her own agendas

The invitation is especially jarring considering the fact that Hamas is neither a NAM signatory nor considered a representative of the Palestinian authority by the world community.

Inviting Hamas to the NAM conference cannot be dissociated from the increasingly loud sabre rattling by Iran. Most recently  the Iranian defence minister brigadier general Ahmad Vahidi stated that the summit “demonstrates the Islamic Iran’s thriving power” and that the summit “will path the ground for the expansion of the Islamic Republic causes”.

NAM Nations Bend to Iran’s Will

A report by the Iranian Fars news agency had quoted the Iranian senior parliamentarian Ali Akbar Aqayee as saying that the “Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran would result in long-term consequences in Iran’s favour in international equations”.

This report comes amid numerous reports that the Iranian regime intends to Hijack both the summit in Tehran and her term as the NAM president in order to progress her own agenda. Indeed, a further prominent figure- Brigadier General Yadollah Javani had openly stated that Iran should take full advantage of the summit in order to undermine the sanctions imposed upon her due to her nuclear program.

Iran 24/07 calls upon all countries who intend to send a delegation to the summit to reconsider their decision. Do you, the representatives of these countries want to help progress Iran’s negative long term international goals? Do you want to help a country who’s negative humans right record is second to none? Do you want to help a country who still imposes the death penalty by stoning? Do you want to help a country who may cause a world war?

In sum, countries who plan to send a delegation to the summit need to ask themselves one final important question- Do we want to support a country whose policies and actions contradict all values that the NAM stands for?!

Don’t let Iran tarnish such a prestigious and important movement as the NAM.

The Iranian Regime, Annihilation Threats and Ban Ki-Moon

With time until the beginning of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference in Tehran becoming ever shorter, the Iranian regime rears its ugly face yet again.

News agencies around the world have reported that the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had taken advantage of the al-Quds day (Jerusalem day) rally to threaten Israel and the United States.

The Iranian president was quoted among many news agencies around the world as saying that Israel was a cancerous tumor that will shortly be removed, and further, that there would be no Israel or United States in the Middle East map. This type of threatening rhetoric was also echoed by the Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami who stated that; “the nations of the region, which have toppled dictators, also have the power to annihilate the Zionist regime (Israel)”.

In response to the above statements the United States Department of State have issued an official condemnation stating that; “we strongly condemn the hateful remarks made over the past few days and weeks by senior Iranian officials”, and further, that “these remarks are offensive and reprehensible, and the entire international community should condemn such rhetoric”.

While the UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon had condemned  the statements of the Iranian regime,  he is yet to cancel his trip to the NAM conference in Tehran. By attending the NAM conference in Teheran Ki-Moon is not only undermining his own condemnation, but also undermining one of the key targets of the NAM- attaining and maintaining world peace.

A state whose regime openly threatens to annihilate another UN-member state is not one that is trying to attain world peace but rather to impede it. A visit by Ki-Moon to the NAM conference in Teheran will not only award the Iranian policies a stamp of approval from the world’s number one diplomat, but also from the entire world community.

Nam Summit head of Information: Foreign Media Conspiracy

Image: Iran Daily Brief

IDB Website reports:

Mohammad Sheykan, Deputy Head of Information and Publicity of the NAM Summit Headquarters, said that 2,000 foreign and domestic correspondents will cover the upcoming NAM Summit in Tehran. He said that Western media have already added “organizing news” to describe the NAM Summit on their agendas. He stressed the need to act in a “consolidated manner” to foil the “foreign media plots.”

This statement is probably meant to counter all and any unfavorable coverage of the summit debates. Questions regarding Iran’s plans for the NAM members are already being raised by the NY Times (regarding the nuclear issue), by the British telegraph (Regarding the Collaboration with Assad’s Syria) and the Wall Street Journal. Are these publications all a part of a major plot against Iran? Or are they just a sign that the Iranian attempts to hijack NAM’s agenda will not go unquestioned?

Why UN Chief Ban Ki-moon should reconsider attending NAM summit in Tehran

Image: Tehran Times

As we are following closely the preparations for the NAM summit in tehran this month, we have to point out a few highlights that may have not been considered by UN general Secretary Bank Ki-Moon upon deciding to participate in the summit. Ki-Moon is not invited to the event merely as a persona, but rather as a very much needed sign of approval for Iran’s agenda for the NAM organization. This agenda  isn’t merely non- aligned with some of the UN’s basic organizational goals and principles; in many cases it straightforwardly contradicts them.

Some examples include the Iranian regime’s repeated violations of the Security council’s decisions – Weapon sales to Syria is a recent one-  as well as refusal to cooperate effectively with the IAEA – As surveyed in our thorough work here. On the humanitarian level, Khamenei’s regime is consistently executing severe human rights violations in fields followed and taken care of by UN agencies. In fact, some commentators claim that Iran uses the momentum created by constant public interest in the nuclear question to distract the UN from extensive Human rights violations.

Furthermore, The regime has recently made explicit and public statements questioning the UN’s legitimacy and suggesting NAM organization as a framework for “reconstructing global management”. Openly challenging the UN’s authorities, when put in perspective of the last year, cannot be a mistake or a misunderstanding. It is another well calculated step in the construction of an alternative – guided by Iranian interests.

Under these circumstances, and with the Iranian regime failing to answer clearly  any of these matters, it seems that attending NAM summit in Tehran may not be in line with the UN’s interest. We urge Ban Ki-Moon to reconsider his decision to participate until both military and humanitarian issues on debate with the UN are any closer to be resolved. 

* For further reading please refer to: “Ban Ki-Moon’s Moment of truth” and, “NAM. Iran and the Secretary General”. 

Iran Hijacks Agenda of NAM Summit in Tehran

One thing is certain: Iran is more than happy to host the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran between the 26th and the 31st of August.

The NAM was created in 1961 during the collapse of the colonial system and had one main premiss- all member states committed not to form alliances with the major world powers (namely the United States and the former Soviet Union).

Today the NAM consists of 120 member states and 21 observers. While in the past the NAM had served as an important tool which protected post-colonial states, in the present, Iran intends to manipulate it for her own agenda. Specifically, due to the NAM sheer size, Iran will attempt to form a voting coalition to support her own agendas in the UN.

Iran does not only plan to hijack the summit’s agenda for its own diplomatic (and not so diplomatic) goals (detailed bellow), but also to gain support from NAM countries in order to be able to undermine the UN during the Iranian president’s address to the general assembly in September.

Furthermore, apart from attempting to form a voting coalition during the conference, Iran, who will serve as the NAM president for the following three years, will be able to speak in the name of the NAM states for the length of her presidency. This means that Iran can falsely project that their views are supported by all NAM states.

Iranian regime should not be allowed to exploit the NAM movement for her own purposes. The danger in allowing this to happen can be seen in the Iranian agenda itself, which includes (but not limited to):

In stark contrast to the agendas stated above, the spokesman for the Iranian political opposition calls on NAM states to stress the plight of political prisoners in Iran. The mere fact that the Iranian regime holds political rivals as prisoners shows how far Iran are from democracy and the danger in letting her leaders spearhead such an important and powerful movement as NAM.

Finally, it is important to note that the timing of the summit could not be better for Iran; it provides a golden opportunity to try and escape the enormous pressure Iran is under. A successful bid by Iran to form a voting alliance with NAM members will path Iran’s way to a nuclear bomb. A nuclear bomb that will change all the rules, a nuclear bomb that will hold the world hostage at the hands of Iran.

In the following weeks Iran24/07 will closely monitor both the preparations and the conference itself.