Britain-based military affairs think tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) has just completed its 7th Manama dialogue security conference in Bahrain (December 3-5, 2010). The conference was attended by representatives from 20 countries involved in the Middle East region. IISS is closely related to the powerful Jewish think tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Steven Simon (CFR) and Dana allin (IISS) has just published a book titled ‘The Sixth Crisis: Iran, Israel, America and the Rumors of War’ in which they have come to the conclusion that “war with Iran would be a mistake”.
The speakers at the conference included King Abdullah II (Jordan), Hillary Clinton (US), Mottaki Manouchehr (Islamic Republic), Ahmet Davutoglu (Turkey), Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (UAE) and Dr. Liam Fox (UK).
On December 4, 2010 – Reuters reported:
The U.S. secretary of state had a rare chance to interact with Iran‘s foreign minister at a Bahrain security conference, which Clinton used to deliver a message to Tehran on the need to engage with the international community over its nuclear program at next week’s talks in Geneva.
But while Clinton’s keynote speech from the podium directly addressed the Iranian team led by Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki, her attempt at a more personal diplomacy with Mottaki fell distinctly flat.
“I got up to leave and he was sitting a couple of seats down from me and shaking people’s hands and he saw me and he stopped and began to turn away,” Clinton told reporters on her plane returning to Washington on Saturday.
“I said ‘Hello, minister.’ He just turned away.”
Mottaki, for one, didn’t seem destabilized in the least by Clinton’s entreaties. While the U.S. secretary of state laid out her case for broader Iranian engagement, Mottaki concentrated on his dinner – giving no sign that Washington’s latest message to Tehran had been heard.
Clinton’s Bahrain speech on Friday came ahead of next week’s Geneva meeting between Iran and six big powers – the United States, France, Russia, Britain, China and Germany — their first such encounter in more than a year.
The P5+1 wants to talk about Iran’s civilian nuclear program without discussing Israeli 240-400 nuclear bombs. Tehran on the other hand – wants to talk about a nuclear-free Middle East.
Good for Mottaki. There is no use wasting his time talking to a 10-ft thick Wailing Wall.