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Iran woos global investors; says no desire for nuclear weapons

PTI | Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 21:11

Davos: Energy-rich Iran on Thursday sought to allay fears over its controversial nuclear programme and invited global investors to visit the nation to explore opportunities in its bid to normalise relations with the West.

Reaching out with the message of "friendship and peaceful co-existence", Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today said his country wants to engage with the world and declared it never desired to have nuclear weapons.

Rouhani told the World Economic Forum here that Tehran was ready to open up to Western investments and offered constructive cooperation in promoting global energy security.

Addressing the forum, the first major global platform after initiation of talks between Iran and the US, Rouhani said everybody should stand up against perpetrators of violence. "Iran has never desired a nuclear weapon in the past or one in the future. But we are not willing to give up our peaceful technology," he said.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to engage in constructive cooperation in promoting global energy security by relying on its vast energy resources in a framework of mutual interest," he added.

Iran, part of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has started implementing a nuclear deal with world powers, a step towards a settlement that could lead to the end of crippling sanctions.

Noting that Iran is ready to engage with neighbours, Rouhani said the "best solution is to organise free and fair elections in Syria".

Expressing sadness over Syria situation, Rouhani said Iran believes everyone should first try to put a full stop to this violence. "We are helping Syrians and everyone should contribute to help them," he added.
He also invited WEF participants to visit Iran to explore `tremendous opportunities`. "Peace in Middle East is very important and this goes beyond economic issues... We intend to open trade and industrial relations with all our neighbours and countries in central Asia.
"We also have deep ties with Europe. Engagements between Iran and the US has also entered into a new phase last month," Rouhani said.

Last year, Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers -- the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany -- signed an accord that consists of a short-term freeze of portions of Iran`s nuclear programme in exchange for reduced economic sanctions.

"Leaders from two countries (Iran and the US) are meeting regularly on issues including nuclear issue and this is a very important development.

"My view of social, economic and political issues is one of prudent moderation... The people of Iran opted for this approach and now they are demanding its implementation. The Iranian people`s choice has been welcomed in the region and internationally," the Iranian President said.

Besides, Rouhani said he wants the Islamic Republic to become one of the world`s top 10 economies in future.

Stating that "this young republic is set to flourish", the President said Iran strongly condemns terrorism and violence and fighting them would require economic growth and job creation.

Rouhani said: "...We are committed to work towards a world free of violence and extremism". "I believe in engagements in economic arena on an equal and fair basis. In the past, energy security has led to wars, violence and coups, but energy security can also result in better co-operation," he said.

"In the past, energy security has led to wars, violence and coups, but energy security can also result in better co-operation", Rouhani added.

Stating that Iran is serious about long term partnerships on energy security, the President invited everyone attending WEF annual to visit the country and explore opportunities.

"We need to use faith in God to serve the human kind instead of destroying it. I believe that security of the world is intertwined with the security of Middle East.

"Feeling insecure is a motivation towards violence and we need to guard against that". Emphasising that nuclear weapons have no place in security mechanism, Rouhani said that Iran has never engaged into any invasion or other forceful action against any country or community.

"Sanctions would have no meaningful results for the good of this world. There are many common interests like global security, economic development and fighting violence and extremism," he said.

First Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 20:58
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