Iran opens NAM Summit, urges U.N. reforms

Aug. 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM
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TEHRAN, Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Iran's foreign minister said Sunday the United Nations needs a major overhaul in order to carry out its mission of preserving world peace.

Ali Akbar Salehi opened the 16th Non-Aligned Movement Summit of Leaders in Tehran by saying the U.N. Security Council needed to be "more democratic" and the United Nations, in general, needs to be updated.

"In our opinion, the U.N. General Assembly as the main and democratic organ in U.N., should take heed of its main tasks and establishment of peace and security in the international community," Salehi said.

Salehi declared Iran to be opposed to colonialism, discrimination, misuse of power and armed conflicts in general, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

The NAM summit runs through the week and will include an address by Iranian leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Tehran Times said.

An Iranian government spokesman earlier in the day denied that Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh had been invited by the regime to attend the meeting.

"Only Mahmoud Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority chief, has been invited to attend the Tehran summit from Palestine. No formal invitation has been sent for anyone else," Press TV quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramim Mehmanparast as saying Sunday. His statement came amid escalating tensions between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas over reports saying Haniyeh had also been invited to attend the summit.

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