Ban Ki Moon, the U.N. secretary general. Photo, Karen Bleier/ Agence France Presse
How interesting and significant is it that Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations is going to Iran next week to attend the summit meeting of the 120 nation Non-aligned Movement?
The "Movement" is somewhat of a relic having first emerged during the cold war yet it does represent the largest voting bloc in the U.N.'s 193 member General Assembly and thus the majority of peoples in the world, so it is significant.
In many ways it's a refreshing change of venue and a chance to hear other countries views on world affairs and particularly how they relate to Iran.
Of course Moon's attendance drew criticism from Iran's two main antagonists, Israel and the U.S. with Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu phoning Mr. Ban saying, "Your visit will grant legitimacy to a regime that is the greatest threat to world peace and security". Meanwhile the Obama administration has reportedly been working behind the scenes to dissuade the Secretary General from attending but in lieu of his latest decision to attend they were urging him to convey "his unhappiness with Iran's behavior". Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council was more direct saying, "We think that Iran is going to try to use the event for propaganda purposes and to try to cover up the exteme isolation Iran is feeling politically and economically".
A different take on Iran's hosting the meeting (by chance, in rotating system, it was Iran's turn to preside over the group) was provided by Farideh Farhi, an Iranian scholar at the University of Hawaii. He said, "The extraordinary effort that the Iranian leaders have put into the summit is intended to showcase Iran's global role and offer concrete evidence that U.S. policy of isolating Iran has failed. A case is being made that it is not the global community that has problems with the Islamic republic, as repeatedly asserted by U.S. officials, but merely a U.S. --led- and pressured coalition of countries. And ironically the Obama administration is conceding the point by trying to pressure various leaders from attending the meeting".
The view from here is, contrary to Netanyahu's statement that Iran "is the greatest threat to world peace and security" it is his continued threat to attack Iran's nuclear facilities plus the U.S. instigated economic sanctions and its huge naval presence in the Persian Gulf, directly of the coast of Iran, that constitutes the real threat to world peace and security. Add in the U.S. and Israeli complicity in assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists in Iran, their initiating the "Stuxnet" computer virus that infected Iran's computers that were controlling its enrichment of uranium and the presence of U.S. drones in Iranian skies (one was shot down and displayed by the Iranians), the real question is just who is threatening who .
That's the supreme irony in all this; the absurdity of the two countries with nuclear weapons making the case that Iran with no such weapons is the threat!
It is shear propaganda emanating out of Israeli and U.S. governments' megaphones and then fostered by the U.S. media that promotes the hype demonizing Iran.
So for the coming week at least, with the Secretary General in Tehran, there's no chance of Iran being attacked. And maybe the populations in Israel and America will get a chance to hear a different dialogue that perhaps will enlighten them as to which countries are the real antagonists that threaten "world peace and security".
That's unlikely to happen despite the Non Aligned venue next week but something needs to penetrate the U.S./ Israeli type "Iron Curtain" propaganda we're all exposed to.