Saturday, July 01, 2006

Iran council on foreign relations and public diplomacy vacuum

ali ghannadi

nuclear iran--Iranian strategic council on foreign relations stablished last week and previous Iranian foreign minister,kamal kharrazi appointed to it"s head. iran supreme leader top advicer, ali akbar velayati ,previous defense minister ali shamkhani and previous commercial minister ,mohammad shariatmadari ,also appointed as top members for a five years duration.
The council establishment is initial step toward shaping and operating an modern diplomacy. it was long time that iran foreign policy suffering from lack of meaningfulRelation between decision-keeping and decision-making levels.
Foreign policy elites set forth views in decision-making level ,but there was no instrument to inject the views to decision-making levels. CFR creation as think-tank for foreign policy establishments mostly can solve the problem ,but there is two points to be considered:
1-CFR position as decision-making (not decision-keeping) institution can shape foreign policy operations more effectively through composition of "ranked and non-ranked elites". in this regard ,if the council play as intermediator between foreign policy establishments and informal created institutions , it can act most effectively. the council should also protect private sector role in foreign policy.
2-shamkhani , velayati and shariatmadari composition is symbol for security-politic-economy triangle ,but cfr has losed an important body: the body for acting as public diplomacy correspondent.
Resonating development of public media in last few years approved the public diplomacy as key foreign policy variation.Public diplomacy as an international relations issue return to 1970s ,but it"s importance arose after sept 11,2001.there is interesting definitions for public diplomacy:
-public diplomacy is the influence of public attitudes on the formation and execution of foreign policies
- Public Diplomacy seeks to promote the national interest through understanding, informing and influencing foreign audiencces
-public diplomacy is Official government efforts to shape the communications environment overseas in which foreign policy is played out, in order to reduce the degree to which misperceptions and misunderstandings complicate relations between the country and other nations
Despite of increased creation of moderm offices such as"office for international relations","office for diplomacy and public affairs" in state departments , iranian foreign ministry and other foreign policy establishments yet have no concentrated under secretary on public diplomacy.
Iranian supreme national security council even ,failed to establish separated office for public diplomacy,altough it shows recently signs of modern diplomacy .current undesirable iranian nuclear diplomacy, mostly resault from the lack of public diplomacy correspondents.
Public diplomacy is a reality in foreign policy and it is necessiate to spending huge financial ,even concentrated budget.spending money for public diplomacy is not means to shed fnancial resource,but meams international environment securation for financial,security and cultural resource activity , respect for national goals.
To summarize,public diplomacy vacumm is touchable in new council on foreign relations,as in other iranian foreign policy establishments.if private sector and public diplomacy activated in foreign policy, soon we will see a revolution in iranian F.P efficiecny.
posted by ali ghannadi-irannuk

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