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Iran Launches NAM Summit

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani (right) with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after he gave a speech upon his arrival in Tehran on August 29 ahead of the NAM summit.
Iran is hosting leaders from around the world for a summit of the Nonaligned Movement (NAM) which it hopes will boost its position on the international stage.

The agenda of the two-day summit starting on August 30 in Tehran includes finding a solution to the crisis in Syria, human rights, and nuclear disarmament.

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi has already arrived in Tehran for the first visit by an Egyptian leader to Iran since the country's 1979 Islamic revolution.

Those attending also include Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Organizers said the attendance of some 36 heads of state or government from the developing world had been confirmed.

The 120-member NAM was established during the Cold War by countries that wanted to counterbalance the dominance of the United States and the Soviet Union.

Ahead of the summit, Ban met on August 29 with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, and parliamentary speaker Ali Larijani.

Sitting next to Larijani at a news conference, Ban said he discussed how the UN "can work together with Iran to improve the human rights situation in Iran."

According to his spokesman, the UN leader called for "concrete steps” to address the concerns of the international community that Tehran’s nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

Based on reporting by AFP and the BBC

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