A summit of 120 nations has voted to support Iran in its continued pursuit of a nuclear program, as reported by Iranian state media.
At its annual conference in the Iranian capital of Tehran, the Nonaligned Movement claimed not only that Iran had a right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy, but that it had a greater right to intervene in Syria’s ongoing civil war than Western or United Nation’s forces.
Syrian Prime Minister Wael Nader al-Halqi represented Damascus at the conference, and met with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday.
“The Nonaligned Movement definitely has more political right than the U.S., NATO or some European countries to intervene in the Syrian issue,” Khamenei said. He did not specify on whether or not the group planned to get involved in the Syrian conflict, or what role they would take.
Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi spoke during the conference on Thursday, and said that the world should align themselves with the Syrian rebels. Syrian delegates walked out on the speech midway through.
“Unfortunately, some regional countries, that are also members of the nonaligned movement, are providing weapons and military training as well as money to the armed groups to destroy Syria’s infrastructure,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told Iranian state TV on Friday.
Iran remains as one of Syria’s few allies in the Middle East, but has advised Assad’s regime to consider the rebel’s demands. So far, Iran has proposed a three-month ceasefire to begin talks between the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army. The rebels however, have rejected Iran’s role in peace talks.
The nations present at the summit represent almost two-thirds of the United Nations members, meaning majority support both for Iran’s nuclear program, and against Syrian intervention. Though reports from Tehran have announced the bloc’s support, it is unknown whether they simply recognize Iran’s right to nuclear energy, or fully believe that the nuclear program is solely for energy rather than the development of nuclear weapons.