Iran: Winner or Loser of Istanbul Summit Meeting?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ja'far Haghpanah
Assistant Professor of Regional Studies at the University of Tehran, Iran

Despite its name, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been seldom, if ever, a venue for the manifestation of brotherhood and cooperation among Islamic states and societies. The dominance of the power politics on this organization has caused member states to use it as a tool for the promotion of their own national goals and interests in proportion to their soft and hard power capacities. Tensions that characterized the organization’s latest summit meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, have been no exception to this rule.

The domination of Saudi Arabia over the administrative organs of the OIC, which has its headquarters in the Saudi city of Jeddah, as well as costly steps taken in the preliminary expert meeting of the organization in the absence of Iran, finally caused the final statement of the summit meeting to have three paragraphs against Iran and one against the Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah. Of course, the final statement was not read out due to opposition from certain members and Iran’s threat and pressure, but the mere inclusion of these paragraphs in the final statement was enough to prompt Iranian president and foreign minister not to take part in the final session.

Of course, officials of Saudi Arabia and some other Arab countries like Bahrain, which had come to the Istanbul meeting in order to intensify the Iranophobic atmosphere against Iran, had planned since a long time ago to make Iran totally isolated from the viewpoint of regional diplomacy and get the summit rubberstamp their sectarian approach. The goal of these governments, which are accompanied in their effort by some regional rivals of our country, was to scuttle the suitable position and good maneuvering room that Iran has found following the conclusion of its nuclear deal with world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Therefore, such emotional and destructive measures are in the first place, a reaction to correct orientation of our country’s international policy, which aims to reduce tensions at regional and global levels, shore up positive achievements of JCPOA, and engage in dignified interaction with other governments within framework of recognized international principles and regulations.

Within framework of JCPOA, Iran has been offered during past months with higher capability to play an active role in the resolution of regional crises, which will form the basis for shaping new security arrangements in the region. Without a doubt, the crisis in Syria is at the heart of this new order building process and this is why deployment of anti-Iran forces led by Saudi Arabia has clearly taken place around this issue. The point that must be taken into consideration here is attention to regional role and functions of Turkey and the necessity of reducing tensions with Ankara within framework of Iran’s national interests. Making an effort to find ways to bolster joint regional approaches to the resolution of the Syria crisis is also important, which was pursued in bilateral negotiations between Iranian president and Turkish officials in Ankara following the OIC summit.

It must be also noted that during the recent OIC summit, the sole weakness on the part of Iran, which provided excuses for Iranophobic efforts, was suspicious and mysterious measures taken inside the country, including attacks on Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic premises in the cities of Tehran and Mashhad. Therefore, what is important for the promotion of Iran’s regional policy more than any time before is emphasis on Iran’s responsible behavior with regard to regional and international developments within framework of international principles and regulations, opposition to any change in sovereign borders and secessionism, and active participation in international coalitions fighting extremism and terrorism as global threats. Without a doubt, realization of this important goal needs consensus inside the country more than before; solidarity among sovereign institutions; convergence among all political factions, groups and elites on issues related to foreign policy, and not providing anti-Iran current outside the country with any excuses.

Key WordsIran, Winner, Loser, Istanbul Summit, Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saudi Arabia, Final Statement, Iranophobic Atmosphere, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Responsible Behavior, Regional and International Developments, Convergence, Political Factions, Anti-Iran Current, Haghpanah

Source: Iran Newspaper
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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*Photo Credit: ISNA

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