Diplomacy is the established method of influencing the decisions and behavior of foreign governments and peoples through dialogue, negotiation, and other measures short of war or violence. Although in traditional diplomatic practices governments were the only players being qualified to study and survey and implement foreign policies, emergence of such factors as economic growth, civil societies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) led to para-diplomacy (´parallel diplomacy´) as it came on the scene of foreign policy.
Among instances of para-diplomacy, parliamentary diplomacy is even regarded as the most important and most efficient model of its kind at present age. Although certain classic thinkers of international relations doubted “parliamentary diplomacy” and called it ambiguous, national parliaments in the course of history gradually and inevitably were engaged in the issue to the extent that today, many theorists of international relations believe there is no doubt in the concept of parliamentary diplomacy. Despite certain doubts, international parliamentary activities are an undeniable reality and therefore, besides the traditional role of parliaments in formation of macro international relations such as ratification of the budget for the government’s foreign activities and approval of bilateral and multi-lateral foreign contracts, agreements and treaties with other governments.
Within this framework, the parliament speaker plays the major role. Exchange of visits and meetings and talks with foreign counterparts on issues of mutual interest, inking agreements and joint parliamentary statements, exchange of messages and correspondence, issuance of statements and so on is among the activities of the parliament speaker in the foreign policy domain.
To this end, the Islamic Republic of Iran parliament speakers have been playing a remarkable role with respect to the powerful status of the parliament. Their role went to the extent that in each period, many meetings and discussions with the parliamentary and non-parliamentary official visits and exchange visits with a large number of countries took place.
Following formation of international institutions over the past two centuries, multilateral diplomacy has turned into an undeniable reality in the scene of international relations.
Majority of scholars in international relations consider multilateralism as a final and organized form, which coordinates relations among three or more governments based on generalized behavioral principles; those are the principles which specify the suitable ground for a collection of actions. So, based on the needs and necessities, associations and inter-parliamentary communities gradually come to existence along with formation of inter-governmental institutions and organizations, emerging as key players in the parliamentary diplomacy.
Presently, many regional and international parliamentary associations and communities have been formed; a list of the most important of them which Iran’s parliament has an active role is as follows:
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the oldest parliamentary international association being 125-year-old, is the first international institution to be established with the goal to put together representatives of parliaments of independent countries to play an effective role in international cooperation within the framework of parliamentary mechanisms.
This international parliamentary institution held its first session in 1889 in Paris under the auspices of Frederic Passy and William Randal, two founders of the Association, along with the presence of 11 members of parliaments from Italy, Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Hungary, the US and Liberia, 55 members of French parliament, and 28 members of the UK parliament. With the session held, the corner stone was laid for foundation of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), which now holds important status internationally.
Major activities of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
The Inter-Parliamentary Union, based in Geneva, serving as hub of parliamentary dialogue, has since establishment been moving in line with consolidation of peace and promotion of cooperation among nations and establishment of the representative institutions. They have been active in six international domains such as expansion of parliamentary democracy, human rights and humanitarian law, international peace and security, women participation in politics, sustainable development and education. The Inter-Parliamentary Union also supports efforts and activities of the United Nations through close cooperation with them within framework of common goals with the UN. The IPU has 164 members.
Membership of the Islamic Parliament of Iran in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)
For the first time ever Iran’s National Parliamentary Council became member of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in the 1950s and in the year 1966 it hosted the IPU 55th meeting.
After victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the Inter-Parliamentary Group of the Islamic Parliament of Iran was formed and took part in the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in 1981. In 1983, the law “Statute of the Parliamentary Group of the Islamic Republic of Iran as an IPU member” was ratified in the Islamic Parliament of Iran. Based on the law of statute, members of the Inter-Parliamentary Group, comprising 15 persons, are elected by the general assembly of the parliament members are elected for a two year period and are responsible of making policies for the Inter-Parliamentary Group.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union holds two general assembly sessions twice a year, i.e. spring and fall, in which the Islamic Parliament of Iran has always had active presence.
The first meeting of the representatives of the OIC Member States was held in Madrid (March 1995) on an invitation by the IPU. The participants underlined the need for formation of the OIC Member States (PUIC)
The participant countries underlined the need for formation of PUIC and agreed that their proposals will be raised in the next session in the course of the 94th Inter-Parliamentary session in Bucharest.
Hence, the second “meeting of members of Muslim parliaments” was held in Bucharest on an initiative by the Inter-Parliamentary Group of the Islamic Republic of Iran in presence of representatives of 12 Muslim states. Subsequently the third meeting was held in Istanbul in April 1996 due to efforts of the Iranian group one day before the 95th IPU session with the presence of envoys from parliaments of 10 Muslim countries and the presence of the Secretary General of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union.
Following the efforts by Iran Inter-Parliamentary Group two more sessions were held in Beijing in September 1996 on the sidelines of the 96th IPU session and in the second meeting the participants agreed to take part in the first session of the Planning Committee of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) in Tehran in November 1996.
Parliament representatives from Iran, Indonesia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Pakistan and Bangladesh were present in the Planning Committee meeting, held in Tehran in November 1996. The meeting served as the initial core of establishment of the PUIC. The members approved draft statute of the Union, which referred to Tehran as the Union Headquarters. The participants agreed to hold the first “Development Conference of the parliaments of Islamic countries” in Tehran or Islamabad.
However, to have comprehensive partnership of all the parliaments of Islamic countries in establishment of the Union, Kuwaiti parliament suggested holding a meeting with presence of all parliaments of the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference. On this basis Islamic Parliament of Iran held a session, entitled “The Comprehensive Meeting of the Coordination Committee of the Legislative and Consultative Parliamentary Union of Muslim countries”, from November 14-15, 1998, in which parliament deputies from 39 member countries of the OIC had taken part. The draft statute of association of the Inter-Parliamentary Union of the OIC members was endorsed by the participants and its final approval was planned to take place during the first conference with presence of all parliaments of the OIC member countries.
Hence, the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC) held its first session in Tehran from June 15-17, 1999, with Iran’s then parliament speaker Hojjatolesalm Ali-Akbar Nateq-Nouri chairing it. More than 200 members, advisors and experts from parliaments of 45 member countries of the OIC, including 18 Parliament speakers, eight vice-speakers, secretary general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and Secretary General of the Arab Inter-parliamentary Union (AIPU) and five countries and international organizations serving as supervisors were present in the meeting. During this conference, the statute of the Union was finally endorsed and the PUIC was officially established.
Since its establishment the PUIC has held 10 conferences of the speakers of parliament, 17 meetings of the general committees (Councils), 33 executive committee meetings, five meetings of the Palestine Committee, three permanent committee sessions and three meetings of the female deputies of the PUIC members.
The statute of the PUIC was revised 10 years later at the second extraordinary conference of the Union (Abu Dhabi, January 2010 and there were amendments in it. Among the terminologies undergoing amendment were name of the Union which was changed following change in the name of the Organization of Islamic Conference to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The name of the Union was changed hence to Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States (PUIC).
The Asian Parliaments Assembly convened for the first time in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on September 1999 on the initiative of Bangladesh’s parliament and logistic support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Envoys from parliaments of 31 Asian countries, including Iran’s Islamic Parliament, had taken part in the meeting. During this meeting, the establishment of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP) was approved.
The Second AAPP General Assembly was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on November 5-10, 2000, with the motto “Establishment of Sustainable Peace and Friendship in the Next Millennium, the Cause of Representatives of Asian Parliaments.” Representatives from 27 Asian countries had taken part in the meeting.
The Third AAPP General Assembly was held in Beijing and Chongqing on April 16-19, 2002, with the theme “Peace and Progress in Asia”, attended by representatives of parliament from 31 Asian countries.
The Fourth AAPP General Assembly was held in Manila, Philippines on August 31 - September 4, 2003, with the motto of “100 Years of Peace in Asia”, attended by representatives of parliaments from 36 Asian countries.
The Fifth AAPP General Assembly was held in Islamabad, Pakistan on November 29 – December 3, 2004. The motto of the meeting was “Prospect of Peace in Asia and Development through Inter-Parliamentary Dialogue and Cooperation” and representatives of parliament from 28 Asian countries had taken part in the meeting.
The Sixth AAPP General Assembly was held in Pattaya, Kingdom of Thailand in 2005. Representatives of parliaments of 39 Asian countries took part in the meeting. On a proposal by the Head of the Iranian Delegation, Hojjatoleslam Seyed Mohammad-Hossein Abutorabifard, the Islamic Parliament of Iran was selected as the host of the 7th meeting.
The Seventh AAPP General Assembly, with the motto of “Asian Solidarity for Peace and Justice”, and the First APA Plenary were held in Tehran and hosted by the Islamic Parliament of Iran from 12 to 14 November 2006. The then Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran, Dr. Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel chaired the meeting, attended by speakers and representatives of parliaments of 40 Asian states.
The 7th AAPP General Assembly marks a turning point in history of the Association because in light of the endeavors of Islamic Parliament of Iran, especially Vice-Speaker of the Parliament, Hojjatoleslam Seyed Mohammad Hassan Abutorabifard, the meeting endorsed the resolution of the 4th AAPP, which underlined the need for turning the AAPP into “Asian Parliaments Assembly” (APA). The Association’s statute was approved and the first APA session, chaired by the then Speaker of the Islamic Parliament of Iran, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel.
The second APA meeting was held in Tehran in November 2007, chaired by Dr. Haddad-Adel with participation of parliaments of 31 member countries. The meeting endorsed eight key documents, including the APA executive by-law.
The next meetings were held as follows:
The third meeting: Jakarta, Indonesia, December 2008
The fourth meeting: Bandung, Indonesia, December 2009
The fifth meeting: Damascus, Syria, December 2010
The sixth meeting: Islamabad, Pakistan, December 2013
The seventh meeting: Lahore, Pakistan, December 2014
The eighth meeting: Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, December 2015
Presently, parliaments of 41 Asian countries are members of the APA along with 10 regional and international organizations and associations serving as supervisory members of the Association. The APA secretariat is in Tehran.
The idea for establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) was for the first ever suggested in March 2012 by the then Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly Fahmida Mirza. She considered establishment of the PAECO in line with the ECO aspirations for consolidation of diversified cooperation among the ECO members, noting that the Assembly can play an important role in the ECO region.
To this end, on the invitation of Pakistan’s parliament, the first PAECO meeting was held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in September 2012 with participation of representatives from parliaments of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey. The meeting compiled the draft of the charter of the Assembly and prepared it for final endorsement. Then speakers of the parliaments of Pakistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Tajikistan and Turkey and vice-speaker of Afghanistan endorsed the 11-point charter of the Assembly at the first PAECO, held in Islamabad, Pakistan, in February 2012, thus the PAECO was officially established.
Based on the resolution of the first PAECO assembly, Afghanistan parliament was selected as the host of the second general assembly. The second general assembly has not yet been held due to internal developments in Afghanistan. The PAECO secretariat is in Islamabad.
5. Other regional and international parliamentary associations
Besides the afore-mentioned parliamentary unions and communities, the Islamic Parliament of Iran has always had active participation in certain other specialized parliamentary associations, held in many countries. The associations are as follows:
Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Environment & Development (APPCED)
Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference on Population & Development
Asia-Pacific Parliamentarians’ Conference for Education
World Organization of Parliamentarians for campaign against corruption
Parliamentary Conference on World Trade Organization
Parliamentary Conference on Information Technology
6. Parliamentary Conference on Support for People of Palestine
Also in line with the goals of the Islamic Republic of Iran establishment to support the people of Palestine, the Islamic Parliament of Iran has held six parliamentary conferences in support for people of Palestine since its third term.
After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in February 1979, in light of the ideals promoted by the Leader of the Revolution, the late Imam Khomeini, the slogans chanted by Iranian revolutionaries in their combats in favor of and in solidarity with liberation and anti-colonialism struggles in other oppressed nations, glimmers of hope were radiated into the hearts of revolutionary and freedom fighters across the globe, particularly Muslim and struggling Palestinian people.
The oppressed Palestinians felt disillusioned with bombastic pan-Arabist slogans and a shadow of disenchantment was weighing heavy on combatants after years of almost fruitless struggle and the then Egyptian regime’s treacherous compromise with Israel (Camp David Treaty). Now the victory of the Islamic Revolution had brought fresh blood into their struggles. In the very heady days of the Islamic Revolution, the late leader of Palestine Liberation Organization Yasser Arafat travelled to Tehran and met with Imam Khomeini. Concurrent with this event, the slogan of “Today Iran, Tomorrow Palestine” reverberated across the occupied territories and Palestinian refugee camps.
This sacred cause of the late imam and the Islamic Revolution was enshrined in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran under titles “The Islamic Republic of Iran’s Brotherly Commitment to All Muslims and Unflinching Support for the Oppressed in the World”, “Defending the Sovereign Rights of All Muslims” and “Supporting the Rightful Struggle of the Oppressed Against Arrogant Powers Anywhere in the World”.
Although Iran’s material and spiritual support for liberation movements, particularly Palestine’s liberation movement, continued incessantly despite eight years of imposed war, after the end of the conflict, focus on international developments related to the Muslim world became more evident in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. To that effect, the 3rdIslamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) adopted the “Law on the Islamic Revolution’s Support of People of Palestine” on May 9, 1990.
While announcing support by Iranian people and the Islamic Republic of Iran for the oppressed, homeless and struggling Palestinians until they regain their sovereign rights, the Law tasks the Presiding Board of the Islamic Consultative Assembly to “deepen and broaden this support through different methods and convenes representatives of Muslim countries and pundits on appropriate occasions.”
Following this Law, the Islamic Consultative Assembly has so far organized five international conferences attended by parliamentary speakers and MPs as well as political, cultural and scientific figures from across the globe.
First Conference: First Conference: “International Conference on Support for the Islamic Revolution of People of Palestine", Tehran: October 19-22, 1991
The first pro-Palestine conference was held in Tehran under the title “International Conference on the Islamic Revolution’s Support for People of Palestine” in support of the first Palestinian Intifada and simultaneously with the Madrid Peace Conference in the final year in office of the 3rd Islamic Consultative Assembly and two days after Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued an important statement about the Madrid Conference.
The Tehran conference was opened on Saturday, October 12, 1991 at the Islamic Consultative Assembly with the recitation of verses from the Noble Quran, playing of the national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran and praising five years of Intifada and incessant resistance by the Palestinians against Zionist occupiers. After that, the participants met with Ayatollah Khamenei and heard his influential and revelatory remarks about the persistence of Intifada and the objective of compromisers.
At the inauguration of the conference, then President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani expressed the Islamic Republic of Iran’s viewpoints and positions about the Palestinian Intifada and the process of compromise. The secretary general of the conference, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, presented a report about the organization of the conference and its objectives.
In the afternoon of the first day, the General Assembly of the Conference held a meeting at Esteqlal Hotel of Tehran with the presence of parliamentary speakers and MPs from Muslim states, representatives of Palestinian parties and groups, as well as revolutionary, political, cultural and scientific figures from 49 countries. Mehdi Karroubi, then speaker of Iran’s parliament, was elected chairman of the Conference.
During the two following days, parliamentary speakers, MPs and other participants expressed their views about the oppression of the Palestinian people, hailing Intifada and how to support this movement.
On the final day of the Conference, based on the views of the participants, the final communiqué of the International Conference on the Islamic Revolution’s Support for People of Palestine” was issued.
In the 28-point communiqué, the participants while reiterating the necessity of all-out support for Intifada and working out practical mechanisms for supporting the heroic resistance of the Muslim Palestinians, heaped praise on the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution for his valuable attention to and wise guidelines on the issue of Palestine, and endorsed Ayatollah Khamenei’s address to the Conference as well as his October 17, 1991 message as two official documents of the Conference.
Second Conference: “International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada”
Tehran, April 24-25, 2001
The second conference in support of Palestine was held under the title “International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada” in Tehran during the final days of the first year in office of the 6th Islamic Consultative Assembly.
The significance of this conference stemmed from the Israeli embarrassing withdrawal from south Lebanon in 2000, which the Palestinian Intifada movement considered a big victory of its own.
The two-day conference kicked off on April 24, 2001 after recitation of verses from the Holy Quran and the playing of the national anthem of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with a hope-inspiring and guidance-endowed speech by the Supreme Leader.
In his remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei extolled the heroic resistance of the Palestinian people against the Zionist mercenaries’ savage crimes and reiterated the Islamic Republic of Iran’s firm and continued support for the Intifada and the resistance of the Palestinian people. The Supreme Leader also emphasized the realization of divine promise regarding the final victory of the oppressed and the defeat of the Zionist regime and its supporters and allies.
The inauguration of the conference ended with a speech by then president Mohammad Khatami, presentation of a report by the Secretary General of the Conference on the performance of Secretariat and following up on the decisions of the first Conference.
Then, participants in the conference – including parliamentary speakers and delegates from national and advisory assemblies, leaders and representatives of different Palestinian groups, scientific, cultural and political figures and pundits from different countries elected Mehdi Karroubi, speaker of Iran’s parliament, as Chairman of the Conference.
At the end of the two-day Conference, the final communiqué of the Conference, summing up views of participants, was adopted as the closing statement in 20 points.
In the communiqué, the participants paid tribute to the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the late Imam Khomeini, who pioneered a firm strategy against the Zionist entity and called for the revival of International Quds Day to be marked on the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan every year.
The Conference also praised efforts and positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran, under leadership of Ayatollah Khamenei, and approved his historic and strategic speech at the inauguration of the conference as an official document.
The communiqué also underscored support for the Palestinian nation’s right for forming an independent Palestinian state with holy al-Quds as its capital, and announced the establishment of the “International Association of MPs Supporting the Issue of Palestine” as a non-government organization bringing together former and current MPs. The final statement also stressed the need for the establishment of a permanent secretariat to follow up on the conclusions and recommendations of the Conference.
Third Conference: “International Conference on Quds and Supporting Palestinians’ Rights”
Tehran, April 14-16, 2006
The third international conference on Palestine was held under the title “International Conference on Quds and Supporting Palestinians’ Rights” in Tehran while the Islamic Consultative Assembly was in the middle of its mandate. It coincided with the Zionist regime’s destruction of the Dung Gate in the western part of al-Aqsa Mosque.
Like the previous two conferences, this Conference was attended by parliamentary speakers and delegates from national and advisory assemblies, representatives of different Palestinian groups, resistance leaders as well as revolutionary, political, cultural and scientific figures from different countries.
In his enlightening remarks to the Conference, Ayatollah Khamenei said the performance of Islamic awakening movements is measured based on their stances vis-à-vis the issue of Palestine. The Supreme Leader said the tragedy of Palestine is a combination of massacre, terrorism, destruction, usurpation and desecration of Islamic sanctities.
“Anybody who refuses to accept the slogan of freedom of holy al-Quds and the salvation of the Palestinian nation and territory or marginalizes it and turns his back to the resistance front will be held accountable,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The participants in the conference elected Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, then speaker of parliament, as the Chairman of the Conference.
The participants in this three-day Conference, whose objective was to reiterate all-out support for the Palestinians’ rights and protection of religious sites particularly Quds, discussed developments in the region and the world and the intensification of unjust pressures on the Palestinian nation. In the end, they issued a 35-point final statement showing solidarity with the resistance of the oppressed Palestinians.
In the final communiqué, the participants in the Conference threw their weight behind the January 2006 democratic election in Palestine and the government born out of that election, and called on all Muslim and Arab states to provide it with material and spiritual support.
The Conference also condemned the Zionist regime’s demographic plans, construction of a racist separation barrier and development of settlements and called for urgent action by international organizations and bodies to prevent such actions by the Zionist regime.
This communiqué reiterated solidarity with the government and people of Syria, called for an end to the occupation of Iraq by foreigners and underlined support for jihad and resistance of Palestinian resistance groups, with Hezbollah at top, against the Zionist occupiers.
The participants at the Conference offered congratulations on the success of Iranian scientists in completing uranium enrichment cycle, saying this success is an achievement for the Muslim community. They also condemned any attempt for preventing Iran from acquiring peaceful nuclear knowhow.
The communiqué also extended gratitude to the Supreme Leader for his presence and opening speech, calling for Ayatollah Khamenei’s remarks as an official document of the Conference.
Fourth Conference: “International Conference on Palestine, Symbol of Resistance; Gaza, Victim of Crime”, Tehran, March 4-5, 2009
The fourth international conference in support of Palestine, with the motto of “Palestine, Symbol of Resistance; Gaza, Victim of Crime”, was held in Tehran on March 4-5, 2009 when the 8th parliament of Iran was in its first year in office. The event followed the Palestinians’ 22-day resistance against the Zionist regime’s brutalities in Gaza.
Presided over by Majlis speaker Ali Larijani, the two-day Conference was attended by a large number of parliamentary speakers and MPs, leaders and representatives of different Palestinian groups and resistance movement, international lawyers and other officials and activists from more than 80 countries. Three committees – Resistance Legal and Judicial Issues, Resistance and Sharia, Resistance and Political Issues – discussed the issue of resistance from the legal, sharia and political perspectives. Muslim, Jewish and Christian scholars and pundits sat at the committees.
Like the previous ones, the Fourth Conference also kicked off with a speech by the Supreme Leader.
Referring to Israel’s heavy and embarrassing political and military defeat in the 33-day war on Lebanon and also in the 22-day war in Gaza, Ayatollah Khamenei said resistance and steadfastness were the only way to salvage Palestine.
Ayatollah Khamenei underscored the need for putting criminal Zionist rulers on trial, saying: “Iran’s solution for the settlement of the issue of Palestine is holding a referendum in which all Muslims, Christians and Jews living in the occupied lands as well as Palestinian refugees would partake so that within the framework of a democratic process, a system favored by the Palestinian nation will be chosen and established.”
In another part of his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said the United Nations Security Council’s treatment of the issue of Palestine was scandalous.
Concluding his speech, Ayatollah Khamenei said reconstruction of Gaza was the most urgent matter in Palestine. “The Hamas government, which is elected by the absolute majority of Palestinians and whose epic resistance in Gaza marks the most brilliant spot in the century-old history of the Palestinian territory, must be the center of all activities related to Gaza reconstruction. It would be appropriate that Egyptian brethren open the way so that all Muslim countries and nations would fulfill their obligations in this regard.”
After Ayatollah Khamenei’s inaugural speech, followed by a speech by then president, the Conference started work. After two days of exchanging views, the participants agreed on the 27-point Tehran Declaration as the closing statement of the Conference.
In this Declaration, the issue of Palestine was referred to as the main issue in the Muslim community and the international community was demanded to urgently take necessary action for bringing an end to the three-year-old unjust siege on Gaza and the reopening of ground, air and maritime routes.
The participants in the Conference paid homage to Imam Khomeini and heaped praise on Ayatollah Khamenei for his jihadi, exalted and pro-Palestine spirit, and called for the registration of his speech as an official document of the Conference.
Fifth Conference: “Fifth International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada”
Tehran, October 1-2, 2011
The fifth international conference on Palestine was held in Tehran, October 1-2, 2011, under the theme “Fifth International Conference on Supporting Palestinian Intifada” during the final year in office of the 8th Islamic Consultative Assembly. The Conference, whose motto was Palestine for All Palestinians, coincided with regional developments and the repercussions of the UN recognition of Palestine state.
The high-level conference kicked off with a speech by the Supreme Leader. The heads of three branches of government, chairman of the Assembly of Experts, secretary of the Guardian Council, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, a large number of members of the Expediency Council, ministers, MPs and prominent Iranian figures, and more than 50 international delegations and representatives from 80 countries were in attendance.
Like in the previous conferences, Ayatollah Khamenei used the most influential words and phrases in his speech and said: “The entire Palestine for all Palestinians.”
That was the key point highlighted by the Supreme Leader in the fifth international conference in support of the Palestinian Intifada and in elucidation of the Muslim community’s strategy on the issue of Palestine.
With his appreciable remarks, Ayatollah Khamenei dismissed suspicious measures under way at the UN by the Palestinian Authority.
“Any plan that would divide Palestine is rejected downright. The two-state plan covered under the UN recognition of the Palestinian state is nothing but bowing to the Zionists’ demands, i.e. accepting a Zionist state in the Palestinian land,” said the Supreme Leader.
After the inauguration, the Conference started by electing Ali Larijani as its Chairman.
The two-day conference ended with a 23-point final communiqué.
The final statement underlined the necessity of joint efforts by all Muslims and freedom-seeking people for restoring the historical, national and legal rights of the resistant Palestinian nation and condemned Judaization, destruction of religious sites, threatening of al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock and drilling operations beneath the mosque.
The statement called on Muslim governments and countries and freedom-seekers across the world to boycott Zionist products and companies. It also reiterated support for the struggles by the nation and the resistance movement of Lebanon, particularly Hezbollah, against Zionist occupiers, and their efforts for freeing up the rest of the country’s soil from the Zionists’ claws.
The communiqué also offered gratitude to the Supreme Leader for his stances and foresight for safeguarding and bolstering the resistance of the Palestinian people and demanded that his speech be registered as the covenant of the Conference.
6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada: Together Supporting Palestine, Tehran: February 21-22
The 6th International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada was held in Tehran February 21-22. Its motto was "Together Supporting Palestine".
The conference had a total of 823 guests, including 21 official delegations headed by speakers of parliament. There were also 10 delegations led by vice-speakers and nine others headed by parliamentary chairs of foreign policy and national security committees.
The guests were divided into five categories: official delegates invited by the Islamic Consultative Assembly, leaders of Palestinian resistance groups, NGOs, Palestine cause supporters and pro-Palestine journalists.
The conference started with a speech by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Besides foreign guests, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, head of judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani, speaker of parliament Ali Larijani and senior state and military officials were present.
Ayatollah Khamenei's speech was centered on the strategy of resistance.
Reiterating the necessity of keeping Palestine's resistance groups from being dragged into tribal and religious conflicts and infightings in other countries, Ayatollah Khamenei said: "All Islamic and national currents are required to plead the Palestinian cause and the depth of the Islamic Republic's relations with resistance groups only depend on their commitment to the principle of resistance."
Ayatollah Khamenei also highlighted the brilliant and honorable achievements of the resistance movement in grounding the Zionist regime and referring to the fallacy of former plans for "reconciliation" and recent efforts by false friends who are seeking to deviate the resistance movement and the intifada from its correct path through backyard deals with enemies, he said: "The Resistance is smart enough not to fall in this trap and the God willing the third intifada will inflict another defeat on the usurping regime and efforts for the liberation of Palestine must be the pivot of unity among all Muslim and freedom-seeking nations."
The Supreme Leader said that ill-wishers were trying to overshadow the issue of Palestine in order to reduce its significance, adding: "Despite differences between Muslim countries, somewhat natural and somewhat conspiracy of enemies or out of negligence, Palestine can and must be the pivot of unity for all of them."
Ayatollah Khamenei said that a major achievement of the conference on the Palestinian intifada was insistence on the top priority of the Muslim world and freedom-seekers in the world, i.e. the issue of Palestine, and creation of an atmosphere of empathy for realizing the lofty objective of supporting Palestinian people and their rightful and just combats.
"Never should we neglectful of the significance of political support for the Palestinian people as this issue is of special priority in today's world, and Muslim and freedom-seeking nations, of any affiliation and taste, can come together for the same objective, i.e. Palestine and the necessity to make efforts for its liberation," he added.
Ayatollah Khamenei noted: "If a group puts down the flag of resistance another group will definitely be born out of the Palestinian nation to raise the flag."
The general meetings of the conference started after Ayatollah Khamenei's speech. Moreover, specialized meetings were held within the framework of the five political, parliamentary, jihadi group, youth and NGO committees.
Iran's president, judiciary chief and parliament speaker addressed the conference.
The conference wrapped up with a final communiqué which had been drawn up in 24 articles.
The closing statement heaped praise on the Islamic Republic of Iran for hosting the event and registered Ayatollah Khamenei's speech which was centered on the issue of Palestine as the official document of the conference.
The statement reiterated the persistence of the Palestinian resistance as the only option for the realization of the Palestinian nation's legitimate rights for the full liberation of the country. It also underscored the need for unity among Muslim states against the Zionist regime and its allies.
 Clause 16 of Article 3, and Articles 152 and 154 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
 The Law on the Islamic Revolution’s Support for People of Palestine, drawn up in 8 Articles and 1 Note, was adopted in the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) on May 9, 1990. The Law was revised by the 8th Majlis. After amendments, it was adopted under title “Amendments to the Islamic Revolution’s Support of Palestinian People, Adopted in 1990” on June 9, 2010 and endorsed by the Guardian Council.