In spite of opinions of world leaders, including many in the United States, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will attend. The U.S. and Israel say that as the leader of the organization imposing sanctions, he should not go. But the Secretary-General announced through a spokesman that he will 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." Diplomatic pressure on Ban Ki-moon to boycott increased, as Ahmadinejad called Israel a “cancerous tumor with no place in the Middle East.” The Secretary-General will attend the conference and the address by Iran’s powerful leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Some in Israel have been highly vocal, criticizing Ban Ki-moon, and his perceived support of “The Pariah state.” Indeed, as Ban was confirming his intention to attend, he was advised, according to unnamed media sources, that Iran had been supplying weapons to Syria. Secretary Ban’s spokesperson reported that the U.N. chief will reinforce his concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, Iran’s support for the Assad regime, and for the ongoing threats to annihilate Israel.
Hosting the conference will produce an opportunity for the Iranians to reaffirm a right to peaceful nuclear technology and condemn the ongoing and strengthening threats from the Israeli military. Iran will likely again broach the issue of Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.
The important concern over the bilateral bloodshed and savagery in Syria will be a major NAM topic. Syria was once a close ally of Iran, but the pragmatic sense that Syrian President Assad is close to being pushed from power changes the relationship. The Syrian issue will expose differences among NAM members. On August 3, the United Nations General Assembly voted in condemnation of Syrian force against the Syrian people. Only 8 of the NAM members voted with Syria. These 8 included Syria herself, Iran, China and Russia. These nations oppose the western trend toward globalization and have a policy of non-interference and sovereignty of individual nations.
As host, Iran will promote its culture and tourism to more than 7000 delegates. Iran has announced a week’s holiday, to minimize motor traffic in Tehran. Iranian crews are busily adding greenery and décor to areas where delegates and visitors will congregate.
Photo credits: Guardian, iranchamber,