Tehran uses summit to support its nuclear bid

Tehran uses summit to support its nuclear bid

TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Tehran uses summit to support its nuclear bid

Delegations listen to Iran’s national anthem during the opening of the NAM summit. EPA photo

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) leaders should take a stand against Western sanctions at a Tehran summit at the end of the month, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said yesterday, adding that many NAM members backed Iran’s nuclear program.

“The NAM ... should confront the unilateral sanctions of certain nations against some members of the NAM,” Salehi said in a speech opening days of preparatory meetings for the summit that will take place on Aug. 30-31.

“So far, the NAM has condemned these measures. We thank the NAM for its support” in backing Iran’s “legitimate right” to pursue nuclear activities, he said. Iran is currently subject to U.S. and EU economic sanctions pressuring it to roll back nuclear activities that many Western governments suspect are aimed at acquiring an atomic bomb. Three other NAM members states are also subject to Western sanctions: North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe.

The NAM, representing nearly two-thirds of the members of the UN, is made up of countries with diverse political goals and interests.

Turkey will not attend

Turkey is not expected to attend the NAM, since the offer was not taken into consideration from the beginning. Turkey is also not a member of the movement.

Preparations for the summit began in crisis when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would boycott the summit in Iran if his rival Ismail Haniya of Hamas attended the summit. Iran later backed down by declaring that Haniya was not invited.