Last Updated: Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:22 pm (KSA) 09:22 am (GMT)

How did Iran strip NAM of its real meaning?

Hoda Al-Husseini

In its campaign to promote the hosting of the summit of Non-Aligned states in Tehran, it was essential for Iran to send its own envoys to the “objection” and “resistance” countries. It looked into Lebanon as one of these countries, although more than half of the Lebanese people object to Iran and regional policies.

In Ain-al-Tine, after meeting with Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister, Dr. Hossein Amir Abdul al-Lahaan told the press: “We refuted U.S. allegations that the Syrian regime might be owning chemical weapons, and on the other hand, we expressed our deep concerns, because the Bahraini authorities are using chemical weapons through poison gas being released on unarmed Bahrainis.”

Since the Syrian occupation, Lebanon has been used to hearing non-Lebanese officials attacking Arab countries or Arab officials in their statements after meeting with Lebanese officials.

In his statement about Syria “not” owning chemical weapons, Abdul al-Lahaan reprimanded Jihad al-Maqdisi, the spokesman of the Syrian Foreign Ministry, who said on TV that his country will not be using its chemical weapons, except against foreign forces. Maqdisi made a mistake here, since the first and last Iranian lesson is: denial. The country that is seeking to manufacture a nuclear bomb and which established nuclear reactors across Iran, insists on “denying” that its nuclear program is for military purposes, stating that it is only for peaceful purposes such as energy extraction.

As for the use by Bahrain of chemical weapons against unarmed citizens, what is interesting is not that this story is totally untrue, but the Iranian “Compassion” toward unarmed citizens.

On the Aug. 24, one day before Abdul al-Lahaan’s accusations, William Hague, the British Foreign Secretary, condemned the wide violation of human rights in Iran. He considered it a disgrace for Iranian leaders. Amongst these violations, is the secret execution of four Ahwazi Arabs in June, charged of “enmity to God,” as for the fate of the other two, it remained unknown. Hague said that a week after, in July, five others Ahwazi Arabs were sentenced to death and the sixth was sentenced to 20 years; they have all been deprived from a fair trial, did not even know the charges held against them, and were tortured.

Furthermore, William Hague recalled the execution on July 12 of Safia Ghafouri she who was charged of committing a crime. She was raped by several men in prison and taken to be hanged after being told that she was going to the visitors’ room.

Therefore, the countries that are gathered in Tehran to attend the Non-Aligned summit, should not only raise the Iranian interference cases in the region’s affairs or the spy networks that are being discovered in a lot of countries in the region and elsewhere, but they also have to raise the subject of ethnic, religious and sectarian persecutions practiced by the Iranian regime against the minorities in Iran, as Arabs, Kurds, Baluchis, Turkmen and Sunnis, and the subject of the terrible repression endured by political forces and Iranian civil society organizations that are claiming political and public freedoms that was – and still is – suppressed by the Iranian authorities since 2009. As if the repression endured by Iranian women is not enough, the regime saw the need to develop a plan to hinder “arrogant” women, i.e. educated women, and the Iranian Imams saw also that they should ban women from pursuing university studies. Consequently, a decision was issued on the 23rd of this month, preventing women from pursuing studies that would make her less modest by forbidding them from specializing in several fields.

Iran’s attempt to use its hosting of the Non-Aligned Summit in Tehran, did not prevent it from playing the drums of threats now that a new report will be issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on its nuclear activities, especially with the increasing questions about whether Israel will bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before the U.S. presidential elections. As for the celebration of Jerusalem Day, it starts as usual by launching threats from Lebanon, as a prelude to the speech of the supreme leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Thus, the speech of Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, came as a surprise to many: missiles, upheavals and the destruction of Israeli cities and facilities, while repeating the same expression “if Israel was to bomb Lebanon.” Since 2006 and with the deployment of international forces in southern Lebanon, Israel is just sending its planes to hover above Lebanon or its soldiers to walk along the barbed wires to watch the parks established by Lebanese southerners on the border.

Was the last speech directed against Israel in order to incite it to attack Lebanon while heading to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, although all the reports suggest that Israeli planes will take off from “Azerbaijan” to bomb Iran in the event of a war?

Was the last speech addressed to the Iranian leadership, making it clear that its military arm in Lebanon is ready, or was it addressed to the Syrian authorities, clarifying that the “party” will not act against Israel to relieve Syria, unless Iran is the target, which will change everything?

What about the Lebanese, now that the Secretary General of Hezbollah is saying that he would not refer to anyone to wage the war if Lebanon was attacked. The question is: If Israel goes against all expectations, and wants to check Hezbollah’s credibility concerning whether or not it will get into a war if Israel attacks Lebanon, will Hezbollah remain a Lebanese party or will its Iranian obligations overcome its Lebanese affiliation? And in that case, what will be the benefit for the Lebanese if Hezbollah wins the war for Iran while the Lebanese lose Lebanon? What will happen to Hezbollah if it does not win the war?

This muscle show comes at a moment when Iran is getting ready to host the Non-Aligned summit that it tried to use as a political and diplomatic show off against the West. From the beginning of the summit, all Iranian politicians’ statements were against America and the West, against liberalism, democracy and freedom. They were all decisively biased, which led to deprive the Non-Aligned concept from its sense.

The “Kayhan” newspaper that is biased to the Supreme Leader, published on Aug. 23, an article entitled “the prelude of a new international system,” which stated that the summit in Tehran is a blow not only to Israel, but to the United States and the 5 plus 1 countries. It is known that hosting the summit and choosing Iran to preside the movement for the next three years, is systematic and abides by the protocol.

The article states: “under the vast Western hegemony of many non-aligned countries, it is an opportunity for powerful countries in the Movement such as Iran, India and Egypt, to revive the goals of this Movement, so that an important block would arise from these powerful countries. The importance of holding the summit in Tehran lies in the fact that Iran is the forerunner and the main axis of Islamic awakening at the international level.”

The geographical area does not mean “the strongest in the world”, and “Kayhan” s enumeration of Egypt, India, and Iran as the strongest non-aligned countries, does not cover the fragility of such forces. There is no need to mention now the economic problems, unemployment and poverty endured by these countries. Moreover, the isolation of Iran will not be broken by a summit; this is why Iran was forced to deploy 150 thousand members of the “Revolutionary Guard” since it does not trust its own internal stability.

The participation of 120 countries will not ease the pressure on the Iranian leadership, especially in economic terms. There are many signs indicating that the regime has become quite desperate, and that its only getaway is to try its best to save the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

It is important for Gulf Arab states to participate in writing the final communiqué of the summit, because Iranian politics will not necessarily change. A week before the summit, the London based “Daily Telegraph” revealed how the Supreme Leader explicitly ordered to wage new attacks against Western, Israeli and Arab targets.

This summit will come to an end, but the Syrian crisis will last longer, and this will increase the concerns of the Iranian regime.

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