It may come as a shock to Western countries that Iran has expressed willingness to share its nuclear technology with Egypt. Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president, is participating in Non-Aligned Movement summit being held in Iran and he is also scheduled to visit one of the country’s nuclear plants. It may be pertinent to mention here that Morsi is the first Egyptian president to visit Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iranian officials expect that Egyptian president’s visit to Tehran will help improve relations between both the countries.
Mansour Haqiqatpour, a member of the country’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, told the state-run television station, Press TV, that Iran also plans to invite heads of states to visit the country’s nuclear facilities on sidelines of NAM summit. The purpose of the visit is to counter the propaganda unleashed by Western countries that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. He said that Iran was ready to share experience and expertise on nuclear facilities with Egypt and there was no harm in it. One can easily infer from the statement of Haqiqatpour that Iran is indirectly urging Egypt to go for the nuclear technology.
However, it is premature to say if Egypt’s new leadership would go for nuclear technology. On the other hand, United States and its Western allies should keep a close vigil on Egypt so that the country could be countered immediately if it tries to obtain nuclear technology from Iran. The United States and Israel suspect that Iran has covertly been pursuing nuclear weapons. However, Iran denies the charges, saying the country’s program is for peaceful purposes. Iranian officials say that they intend to produce nuclear energy for the plants, besides medical research for treatment of some lethal diseases including cancer.
Iran now wants to send a strong message to the United States and its Western allies through the NAM summit that Iran is not as isolated on the international front as posed by the US. The participation of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s president will give credence to Iran’s stance on its nuclear program. It may be pertinent to mention here that UN secretary general is going to participate in the summit despite tough opposition by Israel and the US.
As many as 120 states are members of the Non-Aligned Movement, while 17 states have observer status. According to the organizers, around 30 countries are likely to participate in the summit at the presidential or prime ministerial level including Pakistani President, Russian , Turkey’s Abdullah Gul and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. During the summit, the participants are likely to criticize Israel for its alleged anti-Palestine activities besides demanding a full UN membership for Palestine.