South Africa and Iran's FMs meet ahead of deadline

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August 22, 2006 12:22

 
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The foreign ministers of South Africa and Iran met Tuesday just ahead of Iran's self-imposed deadline to respond to a Western incentives package aimed at persuading it to suspend its uranium enrichment program. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was expected to discuss the nuclear standoff with her Iranian counterpart Manuchehr Motakki, alongside the Middle East crisis and bilateral issues. South Africa enjoys good relations with Iran. It is a strong advocate for the right of developing countries to have access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. But it is also a powerful voice on issues of disarmament, being the only country to have dismantled its nuclear weapon arsenal - built secretly in the apartheid era. South Africa maintains that the International Atomic Energy Agency and not the UN Security Council should defuse the tensions over Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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