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EghtesadOnline: Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi gave account of Iranian chairmanship over the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) from the year 1391 (2012-13) through 1395 (2016-17).

Speaking to IRNA, Araqchi said that the NAM decisions must have been taken by consensus and that coordinating the stances of 120 countries was a difficult task, but. Iran managed to do the job well.

He said the NAM grouped a number of countries during cold war without having any secretariat or organization. 

He said that NAM member states used to hold relatively similar stances for coordination among themselves against the bipolar world, the United States and the former Soviet Union.

Araqchi said that after collapse of the former Soviet Union and the end of cold war, there was a period of inactivity in the NAM and its identity was to some extent brought under question.

He said that NAM passed difficult years and countries proposed many ideas on its survival. 

'However, the Movement gradually distanced itself from the initial goals, mostly political in nature, and led towards the sustainable development goals. As a body, grouping the developing states that want to be engaged with the developed states, it proceeded with the economic development goals.

He noted that under such circumstances, Iran undertook chairmanship of NAM, especially with regard to the fact that in recent years, wide gap has appeared among the NAM members, because the declared objectives since the beginning no longer exist.

Araqchi said that currently, several NAM members are the G20 members and define themselves mostly within the new group. Especially, the two founding members of NAM, India and Indonesia that are now the G20 members are less focusing on the NAM objectives.

He said that Iran tried to promote the development goals in line with the progressive principles of the Movement. 

'We tried to bring in the justice-oriented topic. You can observe this in many documents and stances of NAM. Iran worked to play its role to fight poverty and narrow the gaps.'

'Furthermore, we did focus on balance and domestic capacity and cooperation within NAM, using national capacities of the members in the four years. In the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, we spoke on behalf of NAM.'

Araqchi said that NAM Summit was held in Venezuela to hand over the presidency to Venezuela and Azerbaijan will be the next president of the Movement and that the Summit of NAM leaders in Venezuela acknowledged Iran's grave role. 

'Before us, Cuba chaired and after us Venezuela will. This shows how difficult is such a path. The next president is Azerbaijan. Iran and Venezuela and Azerbaijan are the NAM troika members and we will continue to play our role. NAM is not an international organization. It has no secretariat and has a coordination bureau in New York. Hence, its decisions are not like a resolution and are recommendatory.'

He said that final document of NAM is about 900 paragraphs. 'It is voluminous document, covering all the NAM duties. One of the difficult jobs is approval of the document. This is done by our colleagues in New York. Coordinating stances of 120 countries word by word and putting them in a paragraph of 900 words is important. This was a very difficult job.'

He said that Iran-G5+1 ministerial meeting will be held in New York on Thursday after the JCPOA implementation and that the experts held meeting in New York and on Wednesday, the deputy foreign ministers of Iran and the G5+1 will meet. 

'That's the fist joint session with the G5+1 at the ministerial level to be held after the JCPOA implementation. The JCPOA predicts holding ministerial session every two years or sooner on demand by the members.'

He said heads of certain G5+1 states will hold meeting with President Rouhani in New York on issues pertaining to implementation of the JCPOA. 

Asked whether he would be Iran's ambassador to France, Araqchi said it is a rumor. 
On Iran-Europe technical cooperation in nuclear domain, he said appendix 3 of the JCPOA envisions cooperation of Europe in that connection. 

'The UN Security Council resolution encourages countries to have nuclear cooperation with Iran.'

Araqchi said that talks have started with Japan and Korea on nuclear safety and security, nuclear medicine, R&D, exchange of visits and talks. 

Abbas Araqchi NAM