Nigeria Is Learning From Iran To Diversify Its Economy – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari, Iran, Economy President Muhammadu Buhari says that the Federal Government is understudying the experiences of countries like Iran who thrived in adversity to diversify the Nigerian economy.

He said on Monday in Abuja that his administration is working assiduously to ameliorate the challenges faced by the economy within a short period.

President Buhari made the statement while he received a special envoy from the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the State House, Mohammad Javad Zarif.

He said that the Iranian economy remains an inspiration for Nigeria in the deployment of technology to harness and export gas, grow food for the populace and promote entrepreneurship in education.

“The progress made by Iran within a short period of 30 years is really commendable. Within the period, you have been able to harness gas flaring, and you are now exporting. You have recorded strides in security, manufacturing, agriculture and technology.

“You have also achieved a lot in nuclear research. I must also congratulate you for successfully negotiating with America and the European countries on the development of your nuclear energy,” he said.Buhari-Iran-Envoy

A Great Economy
The President noted that Nigeria had all the potentials for growing into a great economy through more inclusive planning, consistency in government policies and commitment to the realisation of development targets.

“In Nigeria, we are learning. We are learning the hard way through hardship, and we are learning very quickly on how to explore other sectors of the economy like gas, solid minerals and agriculture for growth.

“We are grateful for your support and cooperation in opening up the Nigerian economy for diversification,” he told the envoy.

In his remark, the Iranian envoy, who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that the Iranian government would support the ongoing restructuring of the Nigerian economy.

“We are very keen to see a better and stronger relationship with Nigeria, which is the largest country in Africa and a major global player,” he said.

Zarif said he came into Nigeria with a delegation of more than 70 members of the Iranian business community who had already started discussions in investing in sectors like banking, education, scholarship, agriculture, energy, tourism and technology development.

Hajj Stampede: Iran Victims’ Bodies Repatriated

hajj stampede victims arrive iranIran has begun receiving its dead as the first bodies of pilgrims killed in a stampede during the annual hajj pilgrimage in mecca have arrived back in the capital Tehran.

The ceremony saw 104 bodies returned home from Saudi Arabia. Iran says at least 464 of its nationals were killed.

The Saudi authorities put the total death toll at 769, but foreign media reports and officials put the figure at well over 1,000.

Tehran had blamed the incident on Saudi “mismanagement”.

But Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, had accused Iran of “playing politics” with the disaster, calling on Tehran to await the outcome of an investigation.

Speaking at the repatriation ceremony, Iranian President, Hassan Rouhani, said that the tragedy was a “big test” for everyone. “In this incident, our language has been that of fraternity and respect”, he said.

“When required, we have used the language of diplomacy. If needed, the Islamic Republic of Iran will also use language of power.”

The crush happened as two large groups of pilgrims converged as they were taking part in one of the Hajj’s major rites.

The Saudi authorities have not released a breakdown of victims by nationality.

Iran Denies Training Suspected Nigerian Terrorists

The Islamic Republic of Iran has denied allegations that it had trained militants arrested in Nigeria on charges of planning attacks on U.S. and Israeli targets in Nigeria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said such allegations were “made up as the result of the ill will of enemies of the two countries’ good relations”, Iranian state television reported on Friday.

“Iran and Nigeria have friendly and close relations and despite the vast efforts of the two countries enemies, in recent years relations and cooperation have always improved” he said.

The State Secret Service (SSS) on Thursday confirmed the arrest of Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and two other Nigerians in December after Berende, allegedly made several suspicious trips to Iran, where he interacted with Iranians in a “high-profile terrorist network”.

According to the SSS, Berende and his Iranian handlers were involved in “grievous crimes” against Nigeria’s national security.

Berende, who will now be charged in court, admitted to reporters at the SSS headquarters that he had carried out surveillance for the Iranians.

In 2004, Israeli sources said an Iranian diplomat was arrested on suspicion of spying on the Israeli Embassy in the Federal Capital Territory. Tehran denied any arrest.

In 2010, authorities at a Lagos Port found a hidden shipment of rockets, rifle rounds and other weapons from Iran, supposedly bound for Gambia.

A Nigerian and an Iranian face criminal charges over the shipment.