The NAM ministerial conference opened in Tehran today, Tuesday August 28, to review the draft document of proposals that is to be adopted at the end of the summit by the leaders of the participating countries.

The Iranian state news agency reported that more than 80 countries participated in the conference at the level of minister or deputy minister.

The Deputy Foreign Minister of Egypt opened the session with a message of sympathy for the victims of the recent earthquake in Iran and a note of thanks to the Iranian government for hosting the 16th Summit.

The rotating presidency of NAM which was held by Egypt for the past three years will be officially passed on to Iran during the leaders’ meeting on the last two days of the summit.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi then took over the session and released the agenda, which included the ratification of the draft document passed by the experts from 120 member states. Those experts met over the past two days at the launch of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Tehran.

Included in the statement are issues such as the fight against imperialism and racism, resisting occupation, and military aggression against the NAM states, emphasizing a world free of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction and respecting the rights of all countries to exploit nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Iran is now the subject of severe sanctions by the United States and the European Union over nuclear disputes. While Iran insists that it has a right to the peaceful development of nuclear energy, the U.S. and the EU want Iran to cease carrying out uranium enrichment, which is a vital step in providing fuel for nuclear reactors but also a possible pathway to building nuclear weapons.