UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Tehran Wednesday for the 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. On its margins, the UN chief is expected to request Iranian leaders to make progress on the nuclear issue.
The United States and Israel have expressed reservations about the visit, which gives an approval to a diplomatic event widely exploited by Iran to try to break the isolation in which Western countries seek to impose on Tehran because of its controversial nuclear program . Ban, however, decided to go to Tehran to "pass the concerns and expectations of the international community on matters that need urgent cooperation, "said a spokesman for the UN, Farhan Haq. In addition to its nuclear program, Iran has regularly denounced by the international community for its violations of human rights.
Ban has also repeatedly criticized the recursive calls by Iranian leaders to eradicate the "tumor" of Israel from the Middle East map. The UN chief was to meet on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Some 30 heads of state or government and delegations of some 100 countries are expected to participate in the Non-Aligned summit on Thursday and Friday in Tehran.