Iran's president visits uranium-rich Niger

AP News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2013 7:31 AM

NIAMEY, Niger (AP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting the uranium-rich West African nation of Niger.

The Iranian leader arrived Monday in Niger's capital, where he was greeted by President Mahamadou Issoufou.

The two-day stop in Niger is the second on Ahmadinejad's trip to West Africa. He already has visited Benin and is due to stop in Ghana before returning home.

Niger's Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Bazoum downplayed international speculation that Iran had come in search of uranium, saying: "I don't think that's the goal of this visit."

The West has imposed several rounds of punishing sanctions on Iran, hoping to force it to scale back its uranium enrichment program, suspecting it might aim to produce nuclear weapons. Iran has refused, insisting its program is for peaceful purposes.