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Historic Tehran NAM Summit

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Unelected Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad objected, saying:

"This is a serious escalation by Iran against Palestinian unity and against the Palestinian Authority's role as the guardian of the Palestinian people both in the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank including Jerusalem."

The PLO Executive Committee also issued a statement. It accused Iran of promoting Palestinian disunity. 

Hamas is Palestine's elected government. Abbas' presidential term expired in January 2009. He and appointed prime minister Fayyad have no legitimacy.

Confirming Haniyeh's attendance, Gaza spokesman Taher Al-Nunu called on all parties to respect the Palestinian people's democratic choice. He added that Haniyeh will participate in Tehran as elected prime minister.

On August 26, a second Maan News report said Iran's foreign minister told his PA counterpart that Haniyeh wasn't invited.

PA foreign minister Riyad Al-Maliki said Abbas won't attend with him and other Gaza delegates. Palestine remains a divisive issue. At the time of this writing, no further information is available.

Dominant discussion themes include solidarity, national sovereignty inviolability, economic development, and peace. The summit represents a major opportunity for Iran to enlist support. It also provides a platform against Western/Israeli imperialism.

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Top officials from 118 delegations shows Washington's attempt to isolate Iran failed. World participation is impressive. 

Fidel Castro's 1979 Havana Declaration will be stressed. He said NAM's purpose is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries (in their) struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as as against great power and bloc politics."

Six days of discussions will focus on these and related themes. Hopefully at summit's end Iran will have gained prestige at the expense of Washington, Israel, and key NATO allies. Perhaps unity on how to end Syria's conflict will also emerge.

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said NAM participants oppose foreign interference. A "new proposal will be presented at the sidelines".and evaluated by members."

He added that NAM participants "want to hear the standpoints of the Syrian people and see a comprehensive plan to settle the crisis."

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"No foreign states but the people of Syria should decide about their political future."

Achieving broad agreement on that principle alone would make Tehran's summit successful. Translating agreement into policy matters most.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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