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Peaceful use of nuclear energy, legitimate right of Iran: South African Defense Minister

Visiting South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lekota on Tuesday stressed that making peaceful use of nuclear energy is the legitimate right of the Islamic Republic, IRNA reported from Tehran.

He made the remarks while talking to reporters at the end of a ceremony during which Iran and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation.

He said his country believes that all developing nations, including the Islamic Republic, have the right to make use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes in order to make their countries developed in different economic areas.

On Iran-South Africa bilateral relations, he voiced interest of his country's senior officials to further promote ties with Iran.

He referred to his talks with his Iranian counterpart Rear-Admiral Ali Shamkhani held Monday as positive and fruitful.

As to the latest developments in the war-torn Iraq, Lekota urged the United Nations to observe developments in that occupied country and to help settle the existing problems facing the oppressed Iraqi nation.

Referring to the current visit to Tehran of the South African minister, Shamkhani, who also attended the joint press conference with Lekota, told reporters that the visit is the first by a South African defense minister since the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The event can be considered as a turning point in expansion of defense cooperation between the two sides, he added.

He said expansion of military, economic and political cooperation was discussed by the two countries.

An MoU was also signed by the two sides on expansion of bilateral cooperation in all areas, Shamkhani added.

As to the strategic positions of both countries in the two continents of Asia and Africa, he expressed the hope that bilateral cooperation would lead to establishment of peace in the entire world.

The South African defense minister and his entourage arrived in Tehran Monday morning for a two-day official visit and were welcomed by Shamkhani at Mehrabad International Airport.

... Payvand News - 8/17/04 ... --

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