1st Intl. Conference on Islamic Awakening

The final declaration of the First International Conference on Islamic Awakening, which brought to Tehran 600 delegates from 80 countries – representing the main political and religious currents in the Muslim world – decided on a reading of the Arab revolutions centered on civilization. In contrast to Western media that speak of an “Arab Spring” and draw a parallel with the Eastern European countries that embraced the Western model after the fall of the USSR, the participants discussed the issue of a cultural decolonization, designed to round out the political and economic decolonization of the twentieth century.

The conference created a permanent secretariat headed by former Foreign Minister Dr. Ali Akbar Velayati, as well as an international advisory board to monitor unfolding developments.

Observers of Iranian affairs have noted the spectacular comeback of Dr. Velayati on the political scene and his knighting by Ayatollah Khamenei, to whom he has always been very close. It is probable he will be the Supreme Leader’s candidate in Iran’s next presidential elections, the Constitution preventing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from seeking another term in office. Hence, the final declaration of the conference would appear to be the road map for Velayati’s possible candidacy: to unite the Muslim revolutionary movements and to assume their leadership.

In his closing speech, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that the revolutions in North Africa and the Middle East reject American-Zionist domination and warned the leaders of these countries against a return to their collaborationist past.

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