U.S. urges U.N. chief not to attend summit in Iran (WASHINGTON TIMES) By Guy Taylor 08/17/12)
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The U.S. has told the U.N. chief that he would send a “very strange
signal” to the world if he were to attend a conference of non-aligned
states in Iran this month, the State Department said Thursday.
Tehran is hosting the Non-Aligned Movement Summit on Aug. 30-31, and
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has not yet said if he will attend.
“We just find it interesting, if he does choose to go, that he would
go in the context of all these violations of U.N. obligations that
Iran is engaged in now,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland
Her remarks echoed calls last week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, who said Mr. Ban’s attendance would lend legitimacy to a
government that “represents the greatest danger to world peace.”
Iranian leaders are gearing up for the arrival of thousands of summit
delegates from dozens of countries that consider themselves to be not
aligned with or against any of the world’s major power blocs.
Consisting mostly of Central and South American, African and Asian
nations, the Non-Aligned Movement includes Cuba, North Korea, Syria
and Iran, which is enduring several international sanctions over its
The movement was founded during the early-1960s in what was then
Yugoslavia. Its major players during the early years, which coincided
an era of foreign affairs largely dominated by Cold War posturing by
the United States and the Soviet Union, included India’s first prime
minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and then-Egyptian President Gamal Abdel
It was designed to create a forum for international matters clear of
U.S. and Soviet dominance, but in recent years the movement has
provided a soapbox for nations at odds with the U.S. and the U.N.,
although the movement is made up of U.N. members.
The movement met in Havana, Cuba, in 2006, and held a conference in
Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, in 2009.
The decision to hold this year’s summit in Iran has irked some world
“The fact that the meeting is happening in a country that’s in
violation of so many of its international obligations and posing a
threat to neighbors sends a very strange signal,” Mrs. Nuland said.
“This is an organization that we’re not a member of,” she said. “Our
point is simply that, you know, Tehran, given its number of grave
violations of international law and U.N. obligations, does not seem
to be the appropriate place.” (© 2012 The Washington Times, LLC.
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