Putrajaya (Malaysia): The Non Aligned Movement (NAM), the world's biggest bloc second only to the United Nations, was all set on Tuesday to back Iran in its nuclear standoff with the US and condemn Israel for occupying Palestinian lands.
The foreign ministers of NAM member nations also were expected to demand that Israel accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty without delay and open up its nuclear facilities to international inspection, according to a draft of their declarations.
The ministers "reaffirmed the basic and inalienable right" of all countries to develop, produce and use atomic energy "for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations," one of the declarations said.
Iran's nuclear crisis and US-led economic sanctions on the Palestinian Authority have dominated talks at the two-day meeting in Malaysia's administrative capital that was to end later Tuesday.
NAM's 116 members - two were admitted Tuesday - are mostly developing countries that have little clout in the international arena or stridently anti-US nations such as Iran, North Korea and Cuba.
While NAM is in no position to change US views on Iran, its collective voice can provide moral support to Tehran, which is accused by Washington and its allies of using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to produce nuclear weapons.
Tehran has denied this, saying its nuclear program is merely to generate electricity.
Iran has also said it will not give up its right to enrich uranium and produce nuclear fuel as allowed by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to which it is a signatory.
The United States has said military action is an option if Iran does not bow.
The NAM ministers "reaffirmed the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities - operational or under construction - poses a great danger to human beings and the environment," said the NAM draft statement.
It said an attack would also be a "grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and regulations of the IAEA," the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The ministers also welcomed the cooperation extended by Iran to IAEA.
Earlier, in an interview with The Associated Press, Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Iran was not afraid of a US military attack on his country, but expressed confidence that it won't happen.
"They can't. The United States is not in a position to impose another crisis on taxpayers," he said.
"They are in a lot of difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not in a position to create a new crisis in the region."
The NAM ministers issued a separate statement on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that condemned the "ongoing Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian people."
The ministers reaffirmed "their strong commitment to continue supporting the Palestinian people and their leadership to bring an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967".
The NAM support came as Israeli forces entered deep into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, battling gunmen and killing four Islamic Jihad militants who planned to fire rockets, the Israeli army and Palestinian security officials said.