Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Iran, Nigeria Strengthening Military Ties

World Tribune:
Iran and Nigeria are continuing to discuss joint defense and military programs as part of bilateral cooperation launched in 2005. Officials said this has included the prospect of Iranian arms sales to Nigeria, one of the biggest energy producers in Africa.

Officials said Nigeria has sought Iranian help in establishing a defense industry in the African state. They said Iran has already offered to send weapons technology and personnel to build defense factories. READ MORE

Defense cooperation was formally launched when Iran and Nigeria signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005, Middle East Newsline reported.
The MoU was signed during a visit to Teheran by Nigerian Defense Minister Rabiu Kwankaso, who toured Iranian weapons production facilities.

Officials said Nigeria would seek Iranian help to produce light weapons, mortars and anti-tank missiles. They said in a later stage Iran could supply the African state with ballistic missiles.

During his June visit, Kwankaso called on Iran to supply military hardware to Nigeria. Officials said Nigeria has sought naval patrol vessels for counter-insurgency missions.

Iran has reported defense exports to 42 countries. Officials said Teheran has targeted Africa as a major defense market for anti-tank and other missiles denied by Western suppliers.