Iran leader wants to cooperate with Malaysia

Iran 's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday his country wants to work with Malaysia to help the Muslim world achieve its goals, including "sustainable peace and tranquility," the official Iranian news agency reported. Ahmadinejad was slated to arrive in Malaysia late Wednesday for a three-day visit that is to include discussions of Iran 's nuclear ambitions with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who currently chairs the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Ahmadinejad has faced intense international pressure to halt Iran 's enrichment of uranium, considered a possible step in producing nuclear arms. Tehran has insisted its program is aimed only at the peaceful use of nuclear technology, denying Western accusations that it is pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Speaking to reporters before leaving Tehran , Ahmadinejad said Iran and Malaysia , a moderate Muslim country, "have a fertile ground for cooperation in Asia and for pursuing common goals in the Islamic world," Iran 's Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

" Iran and Malaysia enjoy broad ties and great, common viewpoints on regional and international issues and share several common interests," IRNA quoted Ahmadinejad as saying. "They should both seriously work for sustainable peace and tranquility based on justice and spirituality," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Malaysia's foreign ministry said Ahmadinejad is expected to brief Abdullah on Thursday about Iran's nuclear program and other regional issues.

Abdullah visited Iran last May and met with Ahmadinejad's predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. At that time, Abdullah said Malaysia had no objection to Tehran's nuclear program, after Khatami assured him that Iran had no plan to produce nuclear weapons.

Iran is scheduled to reopen talks with Russia on its proposal to enrich uranium for Tehran's nuclear program, seen as a key step to ease international concerns. Ahmadinejad said Iran will sign several agreements with Malaysia to boost economic ties.

"Tehran and Kuala Lumpur have had good cooperation in the economic, industrial, transport, telecommunications, oil and gas fields," IRNA quoted him as saying. "There are no limits to the scope of bilateral ties." Ahmadinejad will visit Malaysia 's high-tech business zone of Cyberjaya, which houses information technology companies just south of Kuala Lumpur , and deliver a public lecture on Islam and international issues before he leaves Friday, Malaysia 's foreign ministry said, reports the AP.


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