Iran's foreign ministry briefing on Monday was marked by a barrage of irate remarks about opposition figures having been invited to the Munich Security Conference.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said during his weekly briefing that the organizers of the 2023 Munich Security Conference promoted war instead of security by inviting prominent dissident figures instead of the regime officials, who were usually present at the prestigious event.
Calling the move “a grave mistake” that “damaged the conference’s credibility,” he said they sought unilateralism in the international order by preventing the expression of different views. “We believe that this year, the conference was organized in the name of security, but for the sake of war and warmongers,” he added.
“The conference was held in the name of security, but it did not invite important countries such as the Islamic Republic [of Iran] and Russia. It means that the conference has given the opportunity, which could be used to raise different multilateral views regarding international order and security, to parties and currents that sought to consolidate unilateralism in the international arena.”
While the Iranian regime has become increasingly isolated, Kanaani claimed that “The Islamic Republic is one of the most important countries with an undisputed role in deepening and consolidating regional security, and it is among effective countries that helps reinforce international security.”
A view from the Munich Security Conference 2023
Western countries have strongly rebuked Tehran for its bloody crackdown over protests, its military support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and lack of compromise over its highly disputed nuclear program.
As Kanaani was speaking to reporters in Tehran, a large number of Iranians gathered outside the European parliament in the Belgian capital Brussels to call on the European Union countries to designate the Revolutionary Guard (IRGC) as a terrorist organization.
Thousands of Iranians from all over Europe held a massive rally in Strasbourg in January for the same purpose.
After a historic forum in Washington earlier this month by eight prominent dissident activists, they have been traveling to events around the world to make the voice of the Iranian opposition heard. Such events signal the emergence of a leadership council in the diaspora to campaign for international support in favor of Iran’s protest movement.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Kanaani said Tehran is committed to technical cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), noting that “The Islamic Republic’s technical cooperation with the IAEA is an important principle for our country. In turn, we expect the agency to behave professionally toward Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities and adhere to the principles and frameworks of professional and specialized cooperation with member states, including the Islamic Republic."
He was referring to a report on Sunday in which Bloomberg News quoted senior diplomats as saying that the UN watchdog, the IAEA had recently detected uranium enriched to 84 percent while monitoring Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has been enriching uranium to up to 60 percent purity since April 2021. Three months ago, it started enriching to that level at a second site, Fordow, which is dug into a mountain. Weapons grade is around 90%.
“Raising such issues through the media, while they should normally be discussed in technical and specialized contacts and in bilateral meetings, shows that the agency is distancing from its professional behavior and specialized position,” Kanaani said.
The spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi has rejected the report, saying the country’s nuclear facilities have never enriched uranium above 60 percent.