These days, Iran is paying the price for its external interventions in the affairs of many regional issues, and is feeling the effects of those policies as it seeks to politically market the Non-Aligned Movement summit due to take place in the Iranian capital Tehran on August 28th.
It is not surprising that we see Iran’s policies becoming softer – temporarily – in the region, and Iran pursuing “warm diplomatic” movements towards several capitals that have long been the target of Tehran’s negative interventions.
It is not surprising that Iran is trying to build bridges with Bahrain, which Tehran has described as an Iranian province, and trying to alleviate the wounds of the past with regards to the UAE, despite Iran’s constant infringements – in words and actions – when it comes to the occupied UAE islands.
It was also not surprising to see President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in attendance at the Mecca [Islamic solidarity] summit, at the invitation of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. At the time, an official Iranian statement was issued prior the summit talking about “the positive role played by Riyadh in achieving stability in the region”.
Within Iran there has been considerable determination to extend an invitation to Dr. Mohammed Mursi [to attend the Non-Aligned Movement summit], so that he can be the first Egyptian President to visit Tehran since the Khomeini revolution in 1979. Iran has since issued a formal appeal to Dr. Mursi requesting his attendance.
At the same time, a number of Iranian envoys are touring Europe, despite the fact that the EU is committed to an economic embargo against Tehran, in order to improve the country’s image. Others have travelled to Latin America to urge the revolutionary regimes there to participate in the summit.
Hence the Non-Aligned Movement summit is being used as an opportunity to encourage others to align with Iran’s conflict against the “Great Satan”, and the “arrogant policies” pursued by Washington against Iran with the support of “international Zionism”.
The Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran will not be the global gathering of an international movement at a critical juncture; rather it will be nothing more than an Iranian attempt to break from the impasse of international pressure that has been lodged against it ever since Iran declared its nuclear capabilities, and the date of Tehran being able to produce its first nuclear bomb grew nearer.
Will the visiting countries, representing all continents of the world, allow the host country to turn the conference into a public relations campaign to bring Iran out of the impasse of its political and economic blockade?
This is a matter for the Iranian diplomats to consider whilst they outline the desired goals of this summit, which may end up as an expensive “photo opportunity” for the Iranian treasury without any political dividend.