In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Ahmadinejad says world powers on decline

Posted by smeddum on July 31, 2008

President urges developing states to fight un bias

Compiled by Daily Star staff
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issued a verbal double-whammy against world powers on Tuesday, saying that global powerbrokers were in decline – making way for a larger role for developing nations to play in the international arena – and hitting out against what he labeled bias by the UN Security Council.

“The great powers are in the process of decline. Their influence is waning. They have reached the end of their era, we are at the threshold of a new era,” he told a ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran.

“The major powers are on a descending course. The extent of their influence drops day by day. They are approaching the end of their era,” Ahmadinejad told the gathering.

“Pious and chaste powers should take the lead in the world,” he added in a speech to foreign ministers at the meeting of the 118-member movement.

“The NAM … can play a prominent role in current global challenges and compensate for the lack of efficiency in international bodies.”

NAM states consider themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

“By using political and economic tools, [the NAM] should prevent any aggression by big powers against other nations and stand up against discrimination and injustice,” Ahmadinejad said.

“It should exert efforts to reform the international political, economic and social systems. Today the NAM more than ever can use its unique position to solve world problems, compensate for the inefficiency of international organizations and call for peace and justice in the world,” he added.

Ahmadinejad, seeking a broadened backing for his nation’s nuclear program, also told ministers from NAM that the Security Council and other world bodies were being manipulated by some world powers. He accused the powers of trying to deny others peaceful nuclear energy while they themselves stockpiled atomic weapons.

Some Western powers charge that Iran is using its nuclear program to shield a drive to develop nuclear weapons. Tehran states that the Islamic Republic’s atomic program is civilian and does not include a militaristic element. A December 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate played down the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, saying that Iran appeared to have stopped work on nuclear weapons in 2003.

NAM, now with 118 members plus observers, was set up in 1961 to group many newly independent nations which wanted to avoid being caught up in the Cold War between Moscow and Washington. It has struggled to stay relevant since the Soviet Union fell.

NAM has previously voiced support for Iran’s peaceful use of nuclear energy and backed Tehran’s cooperation with the UN watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

A draft statement by the coalition, obtained by Reuters, echoed this stance. But diplomats working on the statement said it was “watered down” from a more strongly worded document initially proposed by Iran.

“Any measure to change the world conditions and realize the joint interests of member states will not be possible except through effective efforts and collective cooperation of member states,” Ahmadinejad said in his address.

He called for an “arbitration council” to mediate in disputes and a fund to back development in NAM.

He said the Security Council would never issue a resolution against the United States, Iran’s arch-foe, as long as Washington, like four other big powers, had a permanent seat. The permanent council members have veto powers.

“We only pray that Iran, together with the International Atomic Energy Agency, together with the … big powers, sit down and resolve this matter amicably,” Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting.

Diplomats on working group drawing up a statement on Iran’s atomic program said Iran had proposed that NAM describe UN sanctions imposed on Iran as political and that it call for their swift removal. They said this point had been dropped.

“It is very watered down,” said one Asian diplomat. “The members don’t speak with one voice on this issue.”

Diplomats said those against Iran’s initial draft included regional rival Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with which Iran does not have full ties. The United Arab Emirates, which has a border dispute with Iran, was also against it as were some non-Arabs.

However, the draft included a call for all parties to resolve the dispute in talks “without any preconditions,” a point Iran often stresses, and said any attack on peaceful nuclear facilities would violate UN and international law.

United States and Israel have not ruled out military action if Iran’s nuclear row cannot be resolved by diplomacy.

Six world powers – the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China – have offered Iran nuclear, trade and other incentives if its suspends uranium enrichment, a process used to make nuclear fuel and, if enriched to significantly higher levels, fissile material for nuclear warheads.

Iran has so far refused to give up the right guaranteed to it as a signatory to the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes. It has also, so far, not given any sign it is ready to freeze expansion of its nuclear work in return for a halt to steps to impose more UN sanctions, a proposal aimed at getting preliminary talks going before formal talks start. – Agencies, with The Daily Star

One Response to “Ahmadinejad says world powers on decline”

  1. KB said

    Israel ready to attack Iran without USA’s permission
    Vladimir Anokhin – August 1, 2008

    Israel has entered the last phase of its war preparations against Iran. Recent resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a proponent of negotiations and concessions, and several other factors speak well for the imminent war. Israel’s recent creation of the US missile defense shield can be another addition on the list. The US administration also tries to use the Israeli forces to play a dirty trick on Russia.

    The resignation of the Israeli prime minister has become another reason to raise the subject of imminent war between Israel and Iran. Many Israeli politicians dislike Ehud Olmert’s views on the need to conduct negotiations with neighboring states, as well as his intention to discuss an opportunity to return Golan Heights to Syria.

    There are other aspects which testify to a possible war in the nearest future. The USA is going to ship a radar station to Israel to track down missile launches. Furthermore, the United States intends to use the radar together with Israel . The USA will provide Israel with early missile launch prevention information, as well as technical and financial aid for the creation of the missile defense system.

    According to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the radar station will be deployed in Israel before the new US administration officially takes the White House in January 2009.

    The US administration believes that the radar station is required to defend Israel against Iranian missiles. It does not go about the deployment of interceptor missiles yet. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the distance to Iran is almost the same as the distance to Russia, which vehemently opposes the deployment of US missile system in Europe.

    The station will give the USA an opportunity to use its radar towards Russia freely, without any explanations or control. In addition, the station will give Israel more confidence in its war preparations.

    Israel acts by the law of war and seriously prepares to attack Iran’s nuclear objects. It transpired that the top Israeli administration had had a secret meeting with architect of Operation Opera, Retired General Aviam Sela. It was Sela, who planned the surprised Israeli air strike against the Iraqi nuclear reactor 27 years ago. In addition to Opera, the general also elaborated and conducted several operations to destroy Syrian air defense batteries in Lebanon during the First Lebanese War in 1982.

    Israeli officials have been talking about Iranian nuclear threat for about a decade. However, now is the time, when Tel Aviv seriously considers a question about the use of military force against Iran . The nuclear issue is obviously the key question in the opposition between Iran and Israel, but there is a more global question, which explains why Israel fears Iran.

    Iran strives to obtain the status of a regional superpower against the background of its open hostility against Israel. Iran’s views and intentions pose a threat to Israel ’s role and place in the Middle East. Iranian nuclear weapons endanger the existence of the State of Israel even if the weapons are used with the deterrent value only.

    One shall assume that Israel may claim its entire responsibility for the start of a military action against Iran, if the action takes place, of course. Ex-head of Mossad, Shabtai Shavit said that Israel would not be waiting for USA’s permission to attack Iran ’s nuclear facilities.

    The US administration does not hurry to use its military force against Iran ’s nuclear program. US officials prefer to wage psychological war against Iran, which could also be a good start of a real war.

    Nevertheless, there is a number of circumstances, which do not let the USA launch a large-scale military action against Iran. The current political stability in Iraq and Afghanistan leaves much to be desired. A limited contingent of coalition troops in Afghanistan is obviously not enough to conduct large-scale military operations in the south of the war-torn nation. US and coalition troops make up about 200,000 people in the region. The Pentagon cannot provide more.

    Iran will not miss a chance to strike back on oil pipelines and oil structures of neighboring Arab states. Even a slight military action in the region may cause serious damage to the world economy. The European Union, China and India will suffer from the possible fuel crisis most. The USA would not mind weaker competitors, of course. It is an open secret that the economies of those industrial giants largely depend on crude shipments from the Persian Gulf. The war could be a good reason.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: