Tehran: Iran on Sunday condemned the West's policy of intimidation against other nations and sought NAM's support to end tough West-sponsored sanctions against it over its nuclear programme, as officials from 120 countries, including India, gathered here for the 16th NAM summit.
"We believe that adopting worn-out policies based on intimidation and humiliation is not only unjust and unjustifiable but also weakens international cooperation for the materialisation of the goals and objectives of the UN charter," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said.
In his opening remarks at the meeting of the officials of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states, Salehi said: "No doubt, those who plan such policies will soon find out that they are doomed to failure," Fars news agency reported.
Iran is facing a series of tough UN and Western economic and financial sanctions crippling its oil and gas industry over its nuclear programme, which it calls peaceful. However, West accuses Iran of attempting to develop nuclear weapons.
He also said that "we take this opportunity to thank the NAM for its support" backing Iran's "legitimate rights" to nuclear activities.
Referring to crisis in Syria, the Iranian minister called for "national dialogue" as a peaceful solution for internal affairs of countries.
The officials from 120 NAM member states met today to work on the agenda of the heads-of-state summit to be held on Thursday and Friday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will attend the Summit, which will be preceded by crucial bilateral talks with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Also on the sidelines of the meeting, India, Iran and Afghanistan will hold a strategic trilateral meet in which key issues, including regional security and economic situation and best utilisation of Chabahar Port, a significant commercial venture, will be discussed.
The NAM counts 120 members, overwhelmingly developing nations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The issues relating to ongoing crisis in Syria and Iranian nuclear programme are likely to dominate the summit.
Iranian Foreign Minister Salehi also pledged to spare no efforts to promote the NAM during Iran's presidency over the bloc in the next three years.
"At the current juncture, we will make our utmost efforts to promote the movement's general objectives, including consolidation of solidarity among the member states which necessitates an influential and efficient movement," he said.
Earlier today, Iran took over the rotating three-year NAM presidency from Egypt. Egypt's Ambassador to the United Nations Moataz Khalil formally handed over the presidency of the NAM to Iran.
Salehi also welcomed the participants to the meeting and expressed happiness over hosting the event, saying Tehran's hosting the meeting indicates its active presence in the organization in the past three decades.
He also called for a comprehensive approach to widen the exercise of the UN charter based on "friendly and peaceful relations, mutual respect, common and equal interests of all the UN member states."
First Published: Sunday, August 26, 2012, 16:30