TEHRAN - Iran is to host some 30 leaders, including those of India, Egypt and Cuba, at an August 30-31 summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) that officials are billing as proof the Islamic republic is not as isolated as the West would like.

"So far, more than 100 countries have said they are ready to participate, and around 30 nations will be represented by presidents, prime ministers or vice-presidents, which is a very good number," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the ISNA news agency. The Tehran summit, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said, "is the greatest political summit in Iran's history." And on Wednesday the UN said that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend the summit, despite protests by Israel and calls from the United States to stay away, and will be in Tehran from August 29 to August 31. Ban will "convey the clear concerns and expectations of the international community" on Iran's nuclear programme, terrorism, human rights and the Syria war, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Ban earlier this month he would be making "a big mistake" if he attended the summit in Iran. The NAM, born at the height of the Cold War, brings together nations that consider themselves independent of the world's major power blocs. The organisation counts a total 119 countries plus the Palestinian territories.

For Iran, the two-day meeting is an important opportunity to portray itself as part of the international scene despite concerted efforts by the United States and the European Union to isolate it diplomatically and economically over its disputed nuclear programme.

Up to 7,000 participants, including delegates and media, are expected for the summit, Iranian Vice President Ali Saeedlou was quoted as saying by ISNA. Their spending will bring in $50 million for Iran, an official in the country's tourism organisation, Manouchehr Jahanian, told the IRAN newspaper.

Holding the event in Tehran is "a source of dignity," another Iranian vice president, Ibrahim Azizi, said according to the Mehr news agency. "The world will see that the plots by the world arrogance (the United States) against our government are fruitless," he said. Iran is going all out in its hosting duties. A five-day public holiday in Tehran has been called for the summit and its lead-up to clear the city of its stifling traffic and pollution.

Visa-free entry to Iran normally offered to nationals from Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Georgia, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Turkey, Syria and Venezuela has been temporarily suspended.

Hospital staff have had vacations suspended. Parts of the capital have been beautified, with lamp posts and road markings freshly painted. Roads around the summit venue are to be blocked to all but official vehicles.

"The police are on full alert during the Non-Aligned Movement summit," Iran's deputy police chief Ahmad Reza Radan was quoted by the Mehr news agency as saying on the weekend. Security, he said, "is our duty and we are not joking about it."

Iranian officials have not yet given the full guest list for the summit. But leaders so far confirmed include Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi -- making a landmark trip after Iran cut diplomatic ties with Egypt in 1979 following the Islamic revolution and Cairo's peace deal with Israel -- as well as Cuban leader Raul Castro and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

A North Korean leader will also be showing up, according to Salehi -- but it will not be Kim Jong-Un, the young chief of the reclusive Asian state, as one Iranian news outlet erroneously reported. Instead it will be Kim Yong-Nam, the chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, who acts as North Korea's head of state in external matters. Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman are also expected to show. There was no word about representation from Syria, Iran's close ally caught up in a civil war.