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Friday, 31 August 2012 - 8:26
Iran summit stumbles on nuclear and Syria criticism
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A showpiece summit hosted by Iran stumbled as soon as it opened yesterday when the head of the UN pressed Tehran on its nuclear stand, and Egypt's new leader publicly sided with Syria's opposition.

The double challenge, before the leaders and delegates of the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement, upset Iran's plans to portray the two-day gathering as a diplomatic triumph over Western efforts to isolate it.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei opened the summit with a speech blasting the United States as a hegemonic meddler and Israel as a regime of "Zionist wolves."

He also said Iran "is never seeking nuclear weapons" and accused the UN Security Council, under US influence, of exerting an "overt dictatorship" over the world.

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