Iranians chant for nuclear energy at Dubai meet with Ahmadinejad
DUBAI, May 13 (AFP) May 13, 2007
Some 3,000 Iranians greeted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday with chants of "we're entitled to nuclear energy" as the Iranian leader arrived at a Dubai stadium on a visit to the Emirates.
"Inshallah (God willing)," Ahmadinejad replied to the crowd, who chanted in Farsi and waved black flags with yellow circles symbolising nuclear energy.
"The arrogant don't want anyone to share science with them so that they can appropriate other people's money," Ahmadinejad, who also spoke Farsi, told Iranian residents of Dubai.
He was referring to Iran's standoff with the United States over its controversial nuclear programme.
Washington suspects Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons and has not ruled out the use of military force to halt its atomic programme, but Tehran insists its activities are for civilian purposes only.
US Vice President Dick Cheney, who preceded Ahmadinejad to the Emirates on a regional tour, warned on Friday from the deck of a US aircraft carrier in the Gulf that the United States will not let Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
Iranian women mostly clad in black chadors joined men seated in another part of the sports stadium to give Ahmadinejad a rousing welcome with chants of Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) when he arrived to address the crowd.
The Iranian expatriate community in the United Arab Emirates numbers at least 400,000.
"The arrogant came to Iraq saying they wanted to help Iraq. But all these are lies. They have come to take the wealth of Iraq," the president said in a reference to US forces occupying the war-torn country.
He arrived in a convoy of some 40 cars to meet Iranian businessmen before the rally.
The crowds handed out Iranian flags and pictures of Ahmadinejad with Emirati leaders, whom he met in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and also in Dubai earlier on Sunday.
Ahmadinejad, who leaves for neighbouring Oman on Monday, is the first Iranian head of state ever to visit the UAE, which is locked with Tehran in a dispute over three strategic Gulf islands.
But UAE leaders led by President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan rolled out the red carpet for Ahmadinejad before holding talks on Gulf security and ways of boosting already robust trade ties.
Oil-rich Gulf Arab states, which are close US allies, want the region free of nuclear weapons, but also worry about the consequences of a potential US strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.All rights reserved. © 2005 Agence France-Presse. Sections of the information displayed on this page (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence, you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the content of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presse.