Mottaki to attend Manama Dialogue

September 28, 2010

Mottaki at the 2009 IISS forum - IISS

Iran’s foreign minister said that he would be “delighted” to attend an international security conference to be held in Bahrain in December.

The Manama Dialogue, co-organised by Bahrain’s foreign ministry and the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), brings together senior political and security officials from several countries, including the US, Britain and Iran. The forum this year will be held on December 3-5.

“I thank the foreign ministry for his invitation to attend the Manama Dialogue in December and I am delighted to be present at this significant meeting that discusses several important issues related to broadening dialogue and understanding between the countries of the region and the rest of the world,” Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran’s top diplomat, said following a meeting with his Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa in New York, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

Mottaki attended the 2006 and 2009 the conference launched as the Gulf Dialogue in 2004.

In his inaugural participation, Mottaki enjoyed impressive regional and international media limelight and used the occasion to criticize Western countries.

“The presence and function of western forces in Iraq and Afghanistan … have deteriorated the situation which resulted in massacre of innocent people, intensification of violence and destruction of the infrastructures in this country,” he said.

However, he refrained at the last moment from attending the forum in 2007 after Iran and IISS had divergences over extending an invitation to an Iranian think tank that had organised in Tehran a conference of Holocaust deniers, attended by participants from 30 countries, including Jews from the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect, who argued that the Holocaust was either fabricated or exaggerated.

In his speech in 2009, Mottaki said that the serious challenges facing the Middle East and the Gulf included the underground activities of terrorist networks and drug trafficking in the region and the struggle to create religious and racial conflicts.

IISS sources said that this year’s Manama Dialogue agenda topics will address the role of the US in regional security, regional security cooperation, Asia and the region, strategic reassurance and deterrence in the region, the changing international framework and regional security, and the changing nature of regional security issues.

Simultaneous sessions will debate securing Yemen’s future, maritime security operations and international cooperation, Iraq and the region and military cooperation in the region.

However, no special plenary session or even break-up group discussion has been designated to an exclusive debate over Iran and its perceived role in the region, a theme that had dominated past regional security discussions.





About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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