NAM Summit and Iran’s Presidency: Achievements and Opportunities

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Interview with Hassan Beheshtipour
Expert on International Affairs

Iran hosted its recent decades’ greatest international summit, called the 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and took on its presidency for the three coming years. Accordingly, International Peace Studies Center (IPSC) has arranged an interview with Hassan Beheshtipour, expert on international affairs, with the aim of scrutinizing the most important achievements and the potential opportunities would NAM and Iran reach during the Iran’s three-year presidency.

IPSC: Is there any possibility for NAM to regain its former reputation as an international effective and efficient organization during Iran’s three-year presidency over the NAM?

Beheshtipour: Providing with a decent and strong diplomatic team during its three-year presidency over the NAM will give Iran a considerable opportunity to follow the important issues outlined in the 11 articles of the NAM summit’s final statement and to pave the way for implementing them. Meanwhile, please keep in mind that all countries of the world have come to the result that playing effective roles across the globe singly and without other countries support and assistance is impossible in the 21 century. They have to expand their influence in the international arena through working under framework of the international organizations and assemblies and making ties with other countries. In other words, for being successful in this issue, Iran needs to cooperate with the influencing member states of the NAM such as South Africa, Indonesia, Cuba, India, Venezuela (next president) and Egypt (previous president); hence, continuing the approach can empower both the NAM and Iran’s position in the international scene. Achieving the mentioned objective depends drastically on Iran’s initiatives and innovations devised to develop a theoretical unity among the NAM member states. It is worthy to say that in the multinational diplomatic scene countries do not need to harmonize their paces with each other, but they will cooperate based on their common interests.

IPSC: Holding the 16th summit of the NAM in Iran made it the current president of the movement for the three coming years, what are the most important potential opportunities for Iran’s foreign policy?

Beheshtipour: In fact the non-aligned movement pursues the independency principle through various forms, as independency from world’s major powers is one of the movement’s foundations. Adherence to the principle and cooperating with all countries who seek for independency and oppose all forms of hegemony would be a major coup for Iran; in the same direction the “Middle East without Nuclear Weapons” idea was very interesting opinion posed by NAM in Tehran which let Iran to materialize the idea in cooperation with other members states. Iran can follow combating terrorism in all forms through holding several international conferences and it is fully ready to activate a world movement necessary to achieve a clean environment. Indeed realization of these issues will only be possible when Iran becomes able to replace the slogan-based diplomacy with a practical one. It reminds the necessity of pervasive application of the Iranian Foreign Ministry capacity to implement NAM’s ratifications in cooperation with other member states. Cooperating with other countries needs practical strategies plotted to make closer the NAM’s member states to each other. Moreover, we need to recruit skillful, courageous, and proficient people to achieve the mentioned targets. Nevertheless, focusing on the national ideals is not a big deal, but pursuing the national ideals in parallel with cooperation with other countries and reaching a cooperative model is a big deal. However, the current slogan of NAM, try to reach peace and international participation management, will be realized only when Iran becomes able to develop common interests among the NAM member states and to plot interesting issues for other states. In other words, Iran needs to convince others that its main concern is the materializing the collective interests. Thus, whenever the collective interests are developed, the influence of all NAM’s member states will be increased.

IPSC: Have the 16th summit of NAM found an achievement for solving the Syria’s crisis?

Beheshtipour: Although NAM did not achieve a single decision on Syria’s crisis and Iran’s plot for developing a workgroup consisting of three Arab states including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq and three non-Arab states including Iran, Turkey and Pakistan was failed on the one hand and Egypt’s strategy on forming a committee including Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia was rejected on the other hand and the member states preferred only to stress the peace realization in Syria, developing a group named Troika including Egypt, Venezuela and Iran would be helpful in achieving a certain way for Syria’s problem and in assisting Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special peace envoy to Syria.

IPSC: What are the most important challenges in losing opportunities provided by Iran’s presidency over the NAM?

Beheshtipour: Iran’s foreign policy has its own dialect, though it would be a strength point, but its reasonable opinions must take the international discourse form. In spite of its very decent ideas and speeches in the world, Iran has always failed to pose them as a dominant discourse in the international scene and to convince other countries to negotiate about them.

In other words, we need to devise issues in the international scene which are interesting to be followed by other states. Inter alia, being West’s critic is good per se, but we need to formulate it as a dominant discourse in the international area. Other countries must be justified on our reasons and logic for taking such position. To do so, plotting reasonable and practical subjects and discussions is necessary. We should avoid the thought that others do not help us in this issue just because they are servants of imperialism, because the thought is nothing but simplification of an intricate problem. Therefore, we have to convince other countries that accompanying us in this way is easy and inexpensive for them; this strategy will maximize fans and enthusiasts of our discourse. Realizing the objectives will be possible via underestimating slogans and taking wise measure to derail the world’s current oppressive trend. If we marginalize our slogans and instead focus on the realism-based idealism, undoubtedly some better results will be achieved.

Key Words: NAM Summit, Iran’s Presidency, Achievements and Opportunities, Iran’s Initiatives and Innovations, Dominant Discourse, Beheshtipour

Source: International Peace Studies Centre (IPSC)
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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