Recently, Haaretz published news of the summit meeting held in Tehran, marking the start of Iran’s three-year presidency of the 120 nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – two-thirds of the UN General Assembly.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, 35 heads of state and 21 foreign ministers, were among the people from over 100 nations who attended, though both Washington and Tel Aviv had called on international government officials and the UN Secretary-General to boycott the gathering.
According to Al Jazeera Ban Ki-moon told Syria’s Prime Minister Wael al-Halaqi that fighting must stop in Syria “with the primary responsibility resting on the government to halt its use of heavy weapons” adding:
“All those actors who may be providing arms to both sides… must stop”
In a meeting on the sidelines of the NAM summit with Halaqi and Walid Muallem, Syria’s foreign minister, Ban said he set out his “demands for all sides to cease all forms of violence”. “What is important at this time is that all the parties must stop the violence. All those actors who may be providing arms to both sides… must stop,” Ban said at a news conference broadcast live on Iranian television.
The New York Times reports that in a speech at Iran’s School of International Relations, Mr. Ban said that he had privately urged Ayatollah Khamenei to release all political prisoners.
That newspaper also recorded that the Tehran Declaration document emphasizes Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy and acknowledges the right to ownership of a full nuclear fuel cycle, which means uranium enrichment – a matter of deep dispute.
The NYT journalist Thomas Erdbrink commented that the unanimous backing for the final document undercut the American argument that Iran was an isolated outlier nation, and reinforced criticisms of the attempt to isolate and punish Iran with unilateral economic sanctions.