Is Iran isolated????
Well, it looks like the answer is no....Claudia Rosett reports...
If you listen to U.S. officialdom, Iran is a pariah, cast out by the world community for its sanctions-violating, nuclear-wannabe ways. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has just warned Latin American nations that in choosing to "flirt with Iran," they should "think twice." Last month, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told the press that Iran is "choosing to isolate itself."
But is Iran really isolated? Fresh from a meeting in Tehran with the head of the terrorist group Hamas, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is free to rub shoulders at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen with a UN summit lineup that for the second time in four months includes President Barack Obama.
To list just a few highlights of Ahmadinejad's other interactions in recent times: Since Iran's June election, angrily and repeatedly protested by huge numbers of Iranians, Ahmadinejad has posed alongside Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a regional security summit in the Urals, met with the president of Turkey, hosted the Emir of Qatar, dropped in on The Gambia and made plans to visit Turkmenistan. Last month he made the latest in a series of swings over the past five years through Latin America. There he dropped by Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela. In Brazil he attended the signing of 13 Iranian-Brazilian cooperation agreements, in areas ranging from banking to technology to scholarships to the lifting of visa requirements. In Venezuela, he had a chance to follow up with his despotic chum, President Hugo Chavez, with whom he declared four months ago--during one of Chavez's many visits to Iran--joint plans to set up an Iranian-Venezuelan "nuclear village."
So busy has the Iranian president's office been that even Ahmadinejad's wife--who usually stays under wraps--took the UN stage in November, speaking at a summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome.
More broadly, while the Obama administration has been reaching out to Iran, the Iranian regime has continued its own outreach around the globe. In recent months this has run the gamut from multibillion-dollar deals for Chinese investment in Iranian oil refineries, to plans to run a bank and assemble Iranian cars in the despotic, weapons-mongering state of Belarus--as well as build an amusement park in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.