Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be hosting a nuclear weapon disarmament conference in Tehran April 17–18 titled “Nuclear Energy For All, Nuclear Weapons For No One.”
Needless to say the United States will not be attending.
However, according to Iran’s Mehr News Agency, more than 60 countries will be at the conference. Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, said China will be present. However, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Beijing has not yet decided.
It’s unlikely the scheduling of the conference so soon after the U.S.-Russia nuclear weapons agreement is a coincidence. Ahmadinejad is as politically savvy as he is controversial.
But the real story is not that “black sheep” Iran is hosting a conference on nuclear disarmament, or at least it shouldn’t be. The real story is that the United States is so bent on isolating Iran that it’s shunning a chance to discuss and possibly learn more about Iran’s nuclear program.
Perhaps Iran and Ahmadinejad are not to be trusted. But ignoring and demonizing a historically peaceful country and potential ally is simply bad foreign policy. Why not attend the conference? Is the United States as sure of Iran’s destructive determination and lust for “weapons of mass destruction” as it was with Iraq?