Ahmadinejad slams ‘world powers’ for spreading war, terrorism (Second Lead)

April 29th, 2008 - 9:58 pm ICT by admin  

By P. Karunakharan
Colombo, April 29 (IANS) Without naming the US and other western nations, visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Tuesday charged “some powerful countries” with causing “war, fear and terrors in order to make other nations suffer”. “Peace and development is possible only where security and justice reign. Some powerful countries of the world oppose this thinking. They spread divisions among people, cause wars and fear, help terrorism, violate the rights of people and nations, make nations suffer in poverty, and seek to fill their pockets with the wealth of others,” Ahmadinejad said in Colombo before concluding his two-day state visit.

Hailing the bilateral ties with Sri Lanka, Ahmadinejad expressed Iran’s commitment “to protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the island nation”.

Ahmadinejad charged that “the sufferings of the Palestinian people are caused by certain forces who are only interested in safeguarding their own well being”.

“Such forces often dislike the people who live in unity and peace. They attempt to spread hatred, rivalry and divisions and thereby steal the security and justice of those who enjoy them,” he said.

“The people of Sri Lanka and Iran are opposed to these policies of trickery,” he said without naming those world forces.

Claiming that “some world forces do not like any people to rise up on their own feet”, he said: “In search for freedom, the Iranian people will help all nations that seek to stand on their own feet and help them for progress and development.

“In this task we will never be frightened by countries and forces that assail us, because such evil forces cannot always prevail on earth. Injustice and murder do not last in the world,” he said.

He launched a $750 million project funded by Iran to upgrade Sri Lanka’s sole oil refinery at Sapugaskanda outside Colombo.

The project, expected to be completed in four years, would triple Sri Lanka’s oil refinery capacity from 50,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels per day. Sri Lanka imports all its oil needs, of which nearly 70 percent is Iranian light crude.

Although Ahmadinejad was scheduled to inaugurate another Iran-funded $450 million hydropower project at Wellawaya in Moneragala district early Tuesday, officials said the function was cancelled due to bad weather.

According to official sources, six bilateral agreements for a range of political, economic and cultural cooperation, including those on “establishment of a political consultative mechanism between the two countries and Iranian development assistance to Sri Lanka” were inked Monday night between the two countries.

Ahmadinejad left Colombo for India on the next leg of his south Asia visit that also included Pakistan.

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