Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Iran strategic council on Foreign relations Set

The supreme leader's creation reflects unease over the country's isolation, analysts say.
From Reuters

June 27, 2006

TEHRAN — Iran's supreme leader has created a foreign policy body that includes former government ministers, a move analysts said indicates disquiet in the leadership over the country's growing isolation.

The committee will not have executive powers, but analysts said Monday that they believed it could influence foreign policy, including the dispute over Iran's nuclear activities, which is handled by the Supreme National Security Council.

The committee includes former Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi and other ministers from the reformist government of former President Mohammad Khatami, who sought a detente with the West and what he called "dialogue among civilizations."

Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005, ties with the West have deteriorated, largely because of the nuclear debate and statements by the president that include a call for Israel's destruction.

"This council should be formed to help make major decisions and search for new horizons in Iran's foreign affairs," supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying in a decree published by the newspaper Shargh.

The paper did not describe the body's exact role.

"The nuclear crisis and Ahmadinejad's radical foreign policy have pushed the leader to form this committee," analyst Mohammed Atrianfar said.

Iran has been referred to the United Nations Security Council for possible sanctions over fears that it is building nuclear arms. It denies the charge, saying its goal is peaceful generation of electricity.

"It means that the core of the system is not satisfied with the function of its foreign policy apparatus and that it intends to reconstruct itself as quickly as possible," analyst Mashallah Shamsolvaezin said.

Six world powers have offered Iran a package of incentives to halt sensitive nuclear work. Tehran has yet to respond.
source:los angles times
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk


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