Monday, 20 April 2009

Breaking News

Moving on slightly from the post below (having had at least one VERBAL plea to keep this going) I feel I should use the slightly more accomodating facilities of this very blog, to discuss this:

Regarding the walkout today of world leaders from a UN racism summit.

For those of you who are unaware, a short history.

Several countries, noted in the article, have boycotted the conference altogether. Notably, the US is absent. These countries all cited the Iranian president as their main concern. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's stance as a vehement anti-israeli is nothing new, and leaders were concerned he would use a summit (notable for aiming to eradicate racism) to p
eddle his own ideals about how the Israeli state is run by racist Jews aiming to destroy the Palestinians.
Whatever your views on the recent crisis there, I think it's fair to say this is a serious allegation and not one that should be put forward at this sort of summit.

To further complicate matters, Iran is currently in a very delicate balance with the West. The Obama regime has so far proved to be of great help to improving relations with a country that (potentially) could develop nuclear weapons, and who in the past have been incredibly anti american:

More recently, Ahmadinejad personally intervened in the matter of an Iranian-American journalist involved in a very controversial trial for spying for the US government. Whether his action here is politically motivated, or if he's genuinely concerned with her welfare, is anybody's guess. But it certainly showed that he was capable of changing his tone to deal with a new era of American presidency.

To the matter in hand then.

It seems obvious, that this will do no favours for relations between Iran and the western world- that goes without saying. But what of the event itself and what may now happen?
Well, for starters, the US representative never turned up to the event, as stated above. Ahmadinejad has already condemned all nations who boycotted the summit, which clearly implies america as well.
Oh dear then.
Notably, he hasn't directed this at specific countries. And this could swing too ways for the future of Iran-US relations.
Either, Obama and Ahmadinejad will see this as a seperate issue, and continue discussing other issues such as Uranium enrichment and the imprisoned journalist as though this had never happened, or it will have a severe impact on future talks. The first eventuality is more likely to arise from the iranian camp- the US has made it clear they want to improve things and not make it worse. I find it unlikely that Obama would jeopardise this. However, I also don't see him staying completely quiet on the subject, and it will be worth seeing how Iran reacts to whatever he ends up saying. I'm sure though, that the order will be US, then Iran. The second outcome is more likely if Ahmadinejad returns to his pre-Obama stance of cynicism against the US, and would obviously be very regrettable.

The walkout itself, was more of an obviously defiant move by ministers actually in his presence. Certainly it is easier from Ahmadinejad's perspective to be critical of an event which happened under his presence, which he himself caused. Could then, the countries involved in the walkout end up being more harshly criticised by Iran than those who failed to show?

The UK falls into this category, so we should be able to follow a similar pattern to the US, regarding Brown's opinion and Ahmadinejad's response. This should, in theory, almost mirror that of the US: however, I believe if there is a difference, it will be that Brown's Britain is likely to come off worse, for the reasons above- that the UK minister physically walked out and didn't just not show up in the first place.
That and Brown is less likeable.

Anyway, I will leave it there with this particular thought-vomit. Please argue/discuss as you see fit :)


  1. ok, sorry for incompetence of not refreshing this before posting my diatripe on the previous post.

    1stly you seem to see the walk out as the more extreme reaction against the speech. If this is so, how can the iranian media report this without explaining the disapproval which at least allows people to make up their own views. In terms of diplomatic fall out from the walk out: 1stly to what extent does the EU actually have a role in direct relations with Iran, the things Iran could offer are: ceasing nuclear project and assistance in Afgan or Iraq; surely the USA and in the case of the former Russia takes the lead in such negotiations? If so the walk out can be read as not aimed at Iran but rather the people of the West as an antiracist stand which would cause general approval?

    Secondly I personally wonder whether turning up then walking out shows more (goodwill/respect) and faith as it suggests more confidence that Ahmadinejad will be less contraversial?

  2. I read your writings here but am not a fan of this political stuff


  3. The Iranian media is thoroughly state controlled- they'd be able to put a spin on it to any effect. I don't think they'd ever let their beloved president appear in a bad light. He's already described the boycotting as arrogant (insert further insults here) and I'm sure the media will just echo him.

    The EU, and especially Britain, should have an interest in Iranian relations from a military perspective. Having a disapproving power in the middle east watching over your movements in Iraq etc. can't really be regarded as a good thing. Plus, most western countries have an interest in at least attempting to keep the peace in the middle east; there's enough agro between Israel and the Palestinians at the moment without us having Iran attack Israel as well. I think it would be in the EU's interest to mediate peace in the area and Ahmedinijad just isn't helping.

    Finally, I see your point about the walk out- but at the moment American relations with Iran seem to be.... vaguely stable; indicating there was little backlash from them not attending. Whether those who walked out HAVE invoked any kind of negative response still hasn't been seen yet.
    And also, the walkout was pre-arranged in the sense that those who were there stated that they would leave if Ahmadinejad made racist comments against Israel- so it's not as tho they turned up in completely good faith...