Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Embassies Without Envoys

Hamid Ahadi, Rooz Online:
While Iran’s foreign ministry strives to keep the Iranian public in the dark about the unpleasant events that have been taking place over the recent months, it appears that the recent problems that have come in the process of appointing new ambassadors to France and Britain have created new headaches in the context of the broiling nuclear crises.

Last week, while the Iranian embassy in Paris has been without an ambassador despite the presentation of Ali Ahani, the current ambassador to Brussels, the spokesman of the ministry tried to present the absence of ambassadors in Paris and London as routine events and did not even address the expressed concerns of the ministries of industry and oil in this regard.

Of the three key posts whose ambassadors were recalled because of inappropriate propaganda during the first period of president Ahmadinejad’s administration, only Berlin has been blessed with an ambassador. And even in this case, the credit goes to the German foreign ministry officials rather than to Iran’s. It is reported that the accreditation process of ambassador Akhoondzadeh has been complete and he will be formally presenting his credential to the German officials in the near future.

The unexpected recall of ambassadors to Paris and London, Sadegh Kharazi and Amir Hossein Adeli respectively, did not create a favorable impression in the host countries. When ambassador Kharazi initially went to Paris he worked hard to replace Germany with France in strengthening the Iran-French economic ties, especially as Total had come forward and expressed interest in investing in Iran despite US sanctions. When he was recalled by Tehran and had to bid farewell to his counterparts and French officials in just 5 days, the French expected to receive a new envoy shortly.

Ahani was presented to the French
, who already knew him since had been at that very post earlier. But they were not too happy with his previous performance. So even with the passage of four months, the French refuse to agree to his appointment. READ MORE

Baztab news website which normally posts the news of new appointments, called on president Ahmadinejad to declare the French ambassador in Tehran as persona non grata, in response to the French non-acceptance of Ahani’s choice. It points to a precedent case when in the 1980s, the French declared the Iranian ambassador to Paris Hadadi to be unacceptable and called for his recall. Iran was forced to act within two weeks. This news had never been officially announced and has not been confirmed by official sources.