Presidents of Iran and South Africa hold phone talks

TEHRAN (IRNA) — Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and his South African counterpart, Thabo Mbeki, in a telephone conversation on Wednesday, underlined the importance of cooperation among Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries.
President Ahmadinejad, over phone, expressed his gratitude for the statement issued by NAM countries in defense of Iran’s undeniable right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful ends.
“There are some countries that want to monopolize nuclear energy and for this reason are trying to deprive other nations of this valuable resource. They think that if they can prevent Iran from gaining access to nuclear technology they can also do the same with other countries.”
Referring to the threat of Iran being referred by the West to the UN Security Council for its nuclear activities, he said, “We will not overlook our right. The Islamic Republic of Iran would have to come out of the NPT if its nuclear case is referred to the Security Council.”
“Iran believes that all nuclear countries should be disarmed. But they have equipped an illegal regime in the region with atomic arms but cry ‘foulÂ’ on Iran’s scientific research,” he pointed out in sarcastic reference to the hypocrisy of the West over the nuclear issue.
South African President Thabo Mbeki, for his part, said: “We respect the Islamic Republic of Iran’s right to access peaceful nuclear technology.”
“We support Iran and urge other countries to do so in order achieve a peaceful way out of the current confrontation and disagreement,” Mbeki told his Iranian counterpart in their phone conversation.
He added that Iran’s undeniable right to access peaceful nuclear technology is of great importance not only to the country but to all developing countries as well, adding that South Africa will take this into consideration when deciding on the issue.

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