Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Non-Aligned Movement Meeting in Tehran

NAM can rival UN: Ahmadinejad

July 29th, 2008 - 6:10 pm ICT by IANS


Tehran, July 29 (DPA) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday that the world was entering a “new phase” in which the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) could turn into an alternative to the United Nations Security Council. Speaking at the 15th NAM foreign ministers’ meeting in Tehran,Ahmadinejad once again criticized the UN Security Council for serving the interests of world powers rather than all of its member states.

He cited the council’s shortcomings with regards to “crimes committed by the Zionist regime (Israel)” in the Palestinian territories and Lebanon and charged that the world body has so far acted in favour of Israel.

Ahmadinejad also referred to the United States military invasions in Iraq and Vietnam and said that the UN would never condemn the US or issue a resolution against it.

“The Vietnam war was not ended by the UN but through heroic resistance by the Vietnamese themselves,” said the Iranian president, indicating that the Middle East crisis should also eventually be settled through resistance.

“The US even wants a security pact for Iraq which would definitely undermine the rights of the Iraqi nation,” he added, reiterating Iran’s opposition to any US-initiated plan to settle the Iraqi crisis.

Despite his anti-US rhetoric at home, Ahmadinejad has several times voiced Iran’s readiness to resume contact with its political arch-foe, the US, after more than 28 years of diplomatic estrangement, most recently in an interview with NBC television.

The president, whose country is involved in a nuclear dispute with the West, said that the UN has also failed to implement its own efforts at nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament.

“We are, however, entering a new phase where the rights of the people could be reserved through love and brotherhood,” he said.

“NAM could now, more than ever, play a significant role in this new phase and settle global differences, block discrimination, create justice and eventually become flag-holder of world peace,” Ahmadinejad added.

Following his presidency in August 2005, Ahmadinejad has adopted an uncompromising policy not only in the dispute over Iran’s nuclear projects but also in the Middle East.

His anti-Israeli tirades especially have caused worldwide protests and gradually isolated Iran from the international scene.

Ahmadinejad has since then focused his hope on NAM and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which unlike the UN, are said to approve Iran’s civil nuclear programmes and also show a more favourable approach toward Iran’s Middle East policies.

“Iran is your home,” he told the more than 100 officials of the NAM member states at the end of his speech while declaring Iran’s readiness for the expansion of NAM’s role in world affairs.



Iran: NAM should set up peace front
Tue, 29 Jul 2008 15:08:08

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed the establishment of a big front of peace and justice by the Non-Aligned Movement.

"Establishment of a big front of peace and justice by the NAM countries will constitute a major step toward promotion of peace and prevention of further disputes in the world. NAM has the potential to become the pioneer of peace and justice in the world," Ahmadinejad said.

He made the statement at the inaugural ceremony of the 15th Foreign Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran on Tuesday.

He added that NAM countries could use the political and economic means available to them to hinder aggression by big powers as well as fighting against discrimination and injustice.

He proposed a joint monetary fund be founded with the aim of boosting economic development of NAM members.

Ahmadinejad said that an increase in the price of oil and gas was a function of politically-motivated actions of certain powers, with harmful effects on world's poor countries.

The spread of communicable diseases like AIDS is the outcome of poverty and lack of hygiene and education, he said, adding, "If we are serious about finding the root causes of such scourges, we must first of all admit that they are the result of the economic framework devised by the big powers and the inefficiency of the political and economic systems currently dominating the world."

Big powers are nearing the end of their era of supremacy, Ahmadinejad said.

Pointing to a rise in the production of illicit drugs over the past few years, he stated, "It is worth noting that the increase is happening in areas where big powers and their allies have a military presence."

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian president condemned the verdict issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, saying that instead of taking a position aimed at defending the rights of nations, the ICC made a decision that was in line with the demands of certain big powers.

The ICC Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, recently leveled accusations of 'genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes' against al-Bashir and called for his apprehension.



Ahmadinejad calls for greater activism from NAM

Atul Aneja

TEHRAN: Iran has urged countries belonging to the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) to establish a collective fund as part of an effort to overhaul the existing global financial political architecture.

In his inaugural address to NAM Foreign Ministers on Tuesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said big powers were dominating the world through an elaborate network of institutions such as the United Nations Security Council and the international banking system.

Mr. Ahmadinejad criticised the world’s leading industrialised countries for expanding their nuclear weapon stockpiles while attempting to hamper other nations engaged in harnessing “peaceful nuclear energy.”

“The expansion of nuclear arms by oppressing powers is continuing and other nations’ peaceful nuclear activities are being condemned by these very countries through accusations that they are being aimed at constructing nuclear weapons,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said.

The President said the inadequacy of the Security Council was evident in its inability to stop bloodshed in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and earlier in Vietnam. He added that the role of the Security Council as a “spectator” during the 33-day war between Israel and Hizbollah in 2006 was another reflection of its flaws. Mr. Ahmadinejad criticised the International Criminal Court (ICC) for its indictment of Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir.

Referring to Israel, he pointed out that the international legal regime had not taken any action against the leaders who had stated that political assassinations were part of their State policy.

Mr. Ahmadinejad urged greater activism from NAM as the “influence of the big powers was now declining." He called upon the movement to intensify its mediation in resolving global conflicts and meeting economic challenges, including the world food crisis. Mr. Ahmadinejad stressed that “big forces” were responsible for the surge in global oil prices.


Ahmadinejad: Big Powers, Source of Nuke Proliferation, AIDS, are 'Going Down'

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's president on Tuesday blamed the U.S. and other "big powers" for global ills such as nuclear proliferation and AIDS, and accused them of exploiting the U.N. for their own gain and the developing world's loss.

But, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said, time was on the poor countries' side.

"The big powers are going down," Ahmadinejad told foreign ministers of the Nonaligned Movement meeting in Tehran. "They have come to the end of their power, and the world is on the verge of entering a new, promising era."

The more than 100-member NAM is made up of such diverse members as communist Cuba, Jamaica and India and depicts itself as bloc-free. But most members share a critical view of the U.S and the developed world in general.

And with Iran assuming the chairmanship of the conference Tuesday, Ahmadinejad's keynote speech was tailored to reflect the struggle that some NAM members see themselves in against the world's rich and powerful countries.

A draft of the final document that ministers will be asked to approve, made available to The Associated Press as the conference opened Tuesday, reflected that struggle.

"The rich and powerful countries continue to exercise an inordinate influence in determining the nature and direction of international relations, including economic and trade relations, as well as rules governing these relations, many of which are at the expense of developing countries," it said.

NAM countries oppose "unilaterally imposed measures by certain states ... the use and threat of use of force, and pressure and coercive measures as a means to achieving their national policy objectives," said the draft.

That appeared to be an indirect slap at the United States, which has refused to rule out force as a possible means of last resort against Iran unless it heeds U.N. Security Council demands to curb its nuclear activities.

The draft also condemns "the categorization of countries as good or evil based on unilateral and unjustified criteria" — oblique criticism of President Bush's labeling of Iran as part of an "axis of evil" along with Saddam Hussein's Iraq and North Korea.

Iran has in the past counted on NAM countries to blunt pressure from the U.S. and its allies for harsh U.N. sanctions and other penalties because of its refusal to freeze uranium enrichment, which can produce both nuclear fuel or the fissile payload of warheads. Tehran has been slapped with three sets of U.N. sanctions because of its nuclear defiance and new penalties loom unless Tehran shows compromise.

Another draft statement also obtained by the AP before the meeting began seeks continued support. Submitted by Iran on behalf of the NAM, it asks the conference to agree that "sanctions imposed on Iran for its nuclear program are of a political nature and should be promptly removed."

The ministers "further affirm ... that there is no legal basis that (the) U.N. Security Council proceeds" in continuing to deal with the Iran nuclear file, said that draft.

While only infrequently mentioning the U.S. by name Tuesday, Ahmadinejad made clear that he blamed Washington and its allies for trying to "impose their political will on nations and governments."

He accused the great powers of "fomenting discord .... to intensify the military and arms race" so they can feed their arms industries. AIDS, he said, also was the result of world conditions "imposed by big powers."

Accusing the U.N. Security Council of being a tool of the world's haves — which use them against the have-nots — he said it was useless to expect that body to be the solution to the world's ills.

"If the United Nations and the Security Council ... were supposed to deal with the problems of the world ... we would not have a problem called Palestine," he declared, in indirect criticism of the creation of the Jewish state 60 years ago.

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