At the American Interest blog, Walter Russell Mead writes that Iran’s hosting of the Non-Aligned Movement annual summit – intended to show off its yearned-for status as an emerging power – has blown up in Tehran’s face. As Mead points out:
First, Egyptian President Mohammad Morsi deviated from the script, criticizing Iran’s allies in Syria and coming out in favor of the rebellion. Then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon joined in, sharply denouncing Iran’s threats of destruction towards Israel and its persistent denial of the atrocities of the Holocaust.
We hate to disagree with Mead, whom we greatly respect, but we found Ban’s comments to be tepid and his words undermined by his choice to attend the conference in the first place. Morsi’s speech played to his domestic constituency and to pan-Arab feelings about Iran, which is not Arab but Persian.