Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Iran Set to Cooperate With Nigeria On Nuclear Energy

Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Saeed Koozechi says he is eager to prepare grounds for businessmen from his country to plough into opportunities in Nigeria and create jobs for Nigerians, just as the country is ready to partner with Nigeria on peaceful use of nuclear technology.

Ambassador Koozechi spoke to newsmen in Abuja yesterday as part of activities for Iran's 34th independence anniversary which comes up on Thursday February 7.

The ambassador said despite prevailing "unjust" sanctions imposed on his country by the West, Iran still thrives to export oil and harness its non-oil sector while expanding bilateral cooperation with friendly countries. He said his country is particularly interested in boosting relations with Nigeria premised on common interests and experiences. "We want to have good cooperation with Nigeria. We want to have more partnership and share experiences with Nigeria. We plan to encourage businessmen from both countries to partner in exhibitions and business forums in order to identify the markets of each other. We believe that all countries have the right to utilise nuclear energy and we are prepared to encourage its peaceful use in Nigeria", he said.

'"We believe this knowledge is for all people, but some big powers want to monopolise the science for the benefit and welfare of only their citizens for prestige and power. This knowledge is for all people, but in order to stop us from utilising it, they assassinated some of our nuclear scientists who were only working on research into nuclear energy and arrested some of them", he added.

He stressed Iran's rejection of the idea of stopping it from producing nuclear energy, even for peaceful purposes, when at the same, some Europeans produce power from their nuclear plants while other countries like Iran and Nigeria cannot easily utilise this source of energy.

He reiterated his country's stand on peaceful use of nuclear technology, pointing out that Iran has enough conventional weapons and therefore does not need to use nuclear weapons to defend itself.

"Our armed forces and defence capabilities are at the best possible times after the revolution, therefore we don't need nuclear weapons. Two days ago one of our latest fighter jets was unveiled by our president. Other similar developments and progress in our defence system show the capability of Iran to enter the complex defence systems. These are some achievements which have been confirmed by the West and are giving them serious cause for concern. They know about our defence capabilities and our response capability if attacked, and they are not comfortable with this", he added.

Mr Koozechi debunked what he termed the propaganda that Iran wants to eliminate Zionism but added that Iran does not play with the Palestine issue, noting that the Palestine issue is one of its foreign policy challenges since the revolution.

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