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Uranium enrichment peaceful purpose - Iranian envoy

Feb 11, 2010, 12:01 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

The head of Iranian diplomacy in Banjul has said that the ultimate objective of his country's uranium enrichment programme is to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

"We don't need atomic bombs because it's dangerous to acquire weapons of mass destruction. As Muslims, we believe in Islam and such kinds of weapons are forbidden," said the Iranian diplomat.

He described the acquisition of nuclear weapons as a misplaced priority, which his country is not interested in. We don't even need it," he stressed.

The Iranian head of mission in The Gambia Saied Zare, was speaking to the Point on Tuesday at his office in Banjul.

The interview was held barely a few hours after Tehran announced that it has started the process of enriching uranium to 20 percent for its Tehran reactor, two days to the 31st anniversary of the Day of Victory of the Iran's Islamic Revolution.

The head of mission explained what the anniversary means for the people of Iran.

Mr. Saied Zare maintained that Tehran is using its uranium enrichment programme for peaceful purposes such as for a power reactor, medical purposes and other non-violent purposes.

"We are a civilize nation, and we make sure we abide by international laws," he stated.

He pointed out that the regime of the Shah of Iran was toppled by the people, 31 years ago, and since then the Islamic Revolution was established.

Ambassador Zare said that during those days, the country was faced with many difficulties since they wanted to be independent while other powers did not want to witness the victory or independence of Iran.

"They started to make many plots against our people. For instance, Iraq invaded us for eight years, but Alhamdulillah (thank God) we finally succeeded," he said.

He maintained that the revolution led by Ayatollah Khomeini has brought unprecedented development to Iran.

He cited the growth in the areas of science and technology, economy, agricultural development, universities, infrastructure, and good health care, among others, as products of the revolution.

On Gambia-Iran relations, Mr. Zare said the two countries have longstanding cordial ties, as manifested by the visits of President Mahmood Ahmadinajad to The Gambia and also President Yahya Jammeh's visits to Iran, as well as the exchange visits between senior government officials of the two countries.

"We have a memorandum of understanding with your country centered on agriculture, economy, trade and investment. Our foreign policy is to support Muslims all over the world, especially in Africa," he declared.