Iran’s Diplo­matic Strat­egy

Southasia - - 9 -

The 16th NAM Sum­mit hosted by Iran was much more than just a meet­ing of some 100 odd mem­ber states. The very fact that Iran will now be head­ing NAM, at least for the next three years, buys the sanc­tion-rid­den coun­try much needed time and space. While NAM may not be an en­tirely in­flu­en­tial con­sor­tium, it is nonethe­less the sec­ond largest in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion af­ter the UN. Iran’s po­si­tion as the host is widely re­spected and ac­cepted within the bloc, even though it adopted a brazen anti-Amer­i­can and anti-West tone dur­ing the re­cent Sum­mit. While Iran may have forced the in­ter­na­tional community to take note of its re­cent de­vel­op­ment and in­ter­act with it, NAM will hardly be a source for Amer­ica to worry about. Play­ing an al­most in­con­se­quen­tial role in global pol­i­tics, NAM it­self strug­gles to ad­dress the nu­mer­ous prob­lems of poverty, cor­rup­tion, eco­nomic de­cline, reli­gious vi­o­lence and the en­ergy cri­sis, amongst other things, that plague its mem­ber states. Fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing this sit­u­a­tion is that most of the mem­ber states to­day en­joy some form of diplo­matic re­la­tions with Is­rael and Iran, no mat­ter how hard it tries, will be un­able to influence a re­ver­sal of such re­la­tion­ships. Its anti-Is­rael, anti-Amer­i­can rhetoric will only go so far be­cause iron­i­cally, most mem­ber states ei­ther share close ties with the U.S or are heav­ily de­pen­dent on the coun­try’s aid and de­vel­op­ment projects. Break­ing such ties to show sol­i­dar­ity with Iran’s marginal­ized po­lit­i­cal and diplo­matic agenda would be detri­men­tal to any mem­ber state. Mah­moud Bashir Los Angeles, USA

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