Iran's charm offensive at NAM summit thwarted by Syria, nuclear work
Iran's effort to prove that international isolation efforts have failed was undermined by discord with the UN and Egypt over its nuclear work and continued support for Syria's President Assad.
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"Now we face the real risk of long-term civil war, destroying Syria's rich tapestry of communities," Ban said. "Those who provide the arms to either side in Syria are contributing to the misery. Further militarization is not the answer. The situation cannot be resolved with the blood and the bodies of more than 18,000 people and counting. There should be no more bullets and bombs."Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Iran's Islamic Revolution
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Morsi expressed Egypt's support for the "revolution" in Syria. "The bloodshed in Syria hangs upon all of us, it will not stop if we don't act," Morsi told the conference. The Egyptian leader's speech prompted the Syrian delegation to leave the summit.
"We express our solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime that has lost legitimacy," Morsi said. "This is not only an ethical duty, but also a political and a strategic necessity."
Despite the frequent claims from Tehran that its own revolution three decades ago has served as the model for the Arab Spring revolts, Khamenei – who first coined the term "Islamic awakening" in Iran's discourse last year – made no mention of Syria at all.
In a single reference to the "Islamic awakening," Khamenei said the "fall of the dictatorships in North Africa, which were dependent on America and were accomplices to the Zionist regime," should be considered a "great opportunity" to boost the influence of the NAM.
The anti-US trope
But Iran's religious leader, who has overseen fitful nuclear negotiations with world powers throughout this year, focused mostly on Iran's arch foes, the US and Israel, and how they used the UN Security Council.
"It is through abusing this improper mechanism that America and its accomplices have managed to disguise their bullying as noble concepts and impose it on the world," Khamenei declared.
"They protect the interests of the West in the name of 'human rights.' They interfere militarily in other countries in the name of 'democracy,'" said Khamenei. "Torture and assassination are permissible and completely ignored if they are carried out by America, the Zionists and their puppets.... Good and evil are defined in a completely one-sided and selective way."
Khamenei's anti-US views are not new, but the nationality of one visitor to his office yesterday was. Sitting beside Ban during his meeting with Khamenei was UN Undersecretary for Political Affairs Jeff Feltman, the former US assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs who until late spring oversaw US Mideast policy.
Khamenei rarely meets Western or European leaders of any kind, a chat with Russia's Vladimir Putin in 2007 being an uncommon exception. Mr. Feltman's presence, though under UN auspices, was the first such face-to-face contact between Khamenei and any American diplomat in decades.
IN PICTURES: Iran's Islamic Revolution