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NAM presidency will get support for Iran's nuke programme

Tehran, Aug 29 (ANI): Iran is hoping that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) presidency will boost Tehran's image in the world and rally more support for its nuclear programme.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the XVIth NAM Summit in Tehran, Iran's Permanent Envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh said Iran's three-year presidency would showcase the "peaceful nature" of Tehran's nuclear programme and increase global support.

At various meetings held on the sidelines of the NAM Summit, the Iranian delegation also expressed the opinion that NAM should establish economic blocs in order to boost multilateral trade.

The deputy head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Kiyumars Fathollah Kermanshahi, told the Mehr news agency that trade turnover between Iran and other NAM member states could be increased by at least 50 percent within five years.

The ISNA news agency, quoting government figures, said that trade between Iran and other NAM member states amounted to around $43 billion in the past year, which ended on March 19, accounting for almost 40 percent of Iran’s total of $105 billion in non-oil trade.

Iran exported $19.7 billion worth of non-oil goods to NAM member states, while it imported $24.1 billion worth of goods last year.

Iraq, the UAE, India, and Afghanistan were the main importers of Iranian goods. The UAE, India, Malaysia, and Oman were major exporters to Iran.

Media in Iran is playing up United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki moon's arrival in Tehran for the NAM summit, projecting it as a major coup against the Western world.

On his arrival in Tehran, Ban Ki-moon said: "Iran has a crucially important role in the region, especially when it comes to Syria. I am going to discus this with Iran's supreme leader."

Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to meet with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today, ahead of the summit, which begins tomorrow.

His spokesman said Ban would "convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community on the issues for which cooperation and progress are urgent for both regional stability and the welfare of the Iranian people."

With the delegates and heads of state of over a 100 countries gathered in Tehran, all eyes are on tomorrow's speech by host President Amadinejad who is known for grandstanding on such occasions.

Meanwhile, he is scoring brownie points among his supporters in the region.

Yasri Abu Shadi of the Egypt Council for Foreign Affairs said, "I think it’s a good success until now. I think the presence of such a huge number of states and delegates proves that all the pressure on the states not to attend in Tehran failed. Actually, I think that’s a fair success here."

By Smita Prakash (ANI)

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I am the Editor News, at Asian News International (ANI), Indiaís leading Multimedia News Agency and the India Correspondent for Channel News Asia, a Singapore based broadcaster.
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