THE Tehran International Conference on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation has certainly sent a clear message to the US that Iran is far from isolated. In fact, it is fast becoming an alternate gathering for the international community, especially developing states who oppose US neo-imperialism but find it difficult to withstand US pressure on issues. Iran has shown that if a state is united in intent and stands up for principled positions on international issues, it can go against the diktat of the sole superpower. It was interesting to note the presence of most of the major Arab players, and a number of staunch US allies from Southeast Asia. The strong presence of Latin American states was also notable. Even more important, the message on nuclear disarmament that came out of Tehran was extremely critical because unlike at the Washington Summit, where there was much hot air but no call for a substantive programme for nuclear disarmament, here were concrete commitments and proposals for moving the world forward through consensus on nuclear disarmament. Whether it was the Arab World and Irans programme for seeking more than just words at the upcoming NPT Review Conference or the non-nuclear states consensus on having an international body oversee nuclear disarmament as well as reviewing the NPT itself, it all reflected the frustration and rejection of the games that the US and its allies have been playing with the rest of the world on the issue of nuclear disarmament and proliferation. Again, contrary to the message coming from the Western media and US and EU governments, the world is not focused on the bogey of the threat of non-state actors acquiring nukes, as much as on the dangers of the US nuclear posture today of a first use of nuclear weapons; on the threat Israel poses to her region with her clandestine nuclear programme; and on the refusal of the nuclear weapon states to move towards genuine nuclear disarmament. In this connection, the Chinese position was welcomed by all, not only in her actual move to maintain a very limited nuclear arsenal but also her reiteration of unconditional No First Use (NFU) of nuclear weapons. This was Irans first foray into bringing together international players, both official and unofficial, on a common platform. Judging by the response it will surely be the start of a new international role for Iran. After all, look how the NAM started with the foresight of a few leaders of vision in the developing world. Today there is a need to generate another wave of a collective movement of developing countries. Iran has shown the way and the first opportunity to sustain the nascent alliance will be the forthcoming NPT Review Conference. Let us hope this time Pakistan is wiser and does not miss the boat as it did on NAM because of its costly alliance with the US.