Sunday, December 09, 2007

Why Iran Didn't Attend Gulf Conference

By Cernig

There's been much speculation over the sudden decision by Iran's foreign minister not to attend the Gulf security conference organised by the International Institute for Security Strategies. This is the "Manama Dialogue" at which US SecDef Bob Gates called Iran a threat to regional security, citing ties to terror groups and alleged interference in Iraq as well as Iran's nuclear program.

Well, according to Gulf News, it was a protest because the IISS wouldn't let Ahmin-nutjob's pet holocaust deniers attend.
Iran's conspicuous absence in the Manama Dialogue is a reaction from its Foreign Ministry after the security conference organisers, the London-based International Institute for Security Strategies (IISS), refused to extend an invitation to the Iranian Foreign Ministry's Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS), sources told Gulf News.

IPIS last December organised in Tehran a conference of Holocaust deniers, attended by participants from 30 countries, including several from Europe, an American white-supremacist politician and Jews from the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect who argued that the Holocaust was either fabricated or exaggerated.

"The Iranian Foreign Ministry had informed the organisers that it wanted IPIS to attend the annual summit, but IISS refused, prompting the Foreign Ministry to cancel its much-anticipated participation. The Iranians made it clear that they would take part in the conference only if IPIS was also invited," the sources said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki had been scheduled to attend the conference, but the Iranians later said he would not attend and that it would not send a delegation.
Very stupid. From an Iranian point of view, as has been noted by several FP experts on several occasions, it's all about status, respect, "face" - they want most to be treated seriously. The Iranians figure that if a major foreign policy think tank is hosting such a shindig then it's only right and proper that their own in-house foreign policy think tank attend and got miffed when they were refused. But to expect a Western think tank to extend an invitation to such shills was always ridiculous. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki should have put the "face" gained from attending before the face lost from having his think tank shunned. He did his sums wrong. Like I said, a big mistake.

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