By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
A 7-year interval in holding high level talks between any two countries is a long gap, replete with missed opportunities, especially when those two happen to be major Muslim states and members of such important international bodies as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC), and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GEFC).
This was the case of Iran and Nigeria until the arrival in Tehran this week of a top-ranking delegation from Abuja for holding the Sixth Joint Commission of the two countries that led to the signing of important agreements in various fields, signaling a 300 percent jump in bilateral trade ties.
Nigeria, whose Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Zubairu Dada, led the delegation, signed a total of 9 cooperation documents in the fields of culture, tourism, oil, agriculture, sports and trade.
Indeed, a good beginning, whose results should be further enhanced by holding regular talks that are necessary, not just for the people of Iran and Nigeria, but also to prevent the common enemies of the two countries to cause mischief and misunderstanding.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country and rich in natural resources, is home to over 110 million Muslims, who form some 60 percent of the national population – followed by the Christians and the Animists.
This is the reason the Americans and the Zionists are trying to subvert Nigeria by creating divisions through such terrorist outfits as Boko Haram, which claims to be Muslim, but like Daesh and other macabrely murderous Takfiri groups, is the sworn enemy of Islamic unity as well as amity between Nigerian Muslims and Christians.
Unfortunately, certain segments of the Nigerian government had over the past years, misled by the American-Zionist propaganda, adopted hostile measures against a sizeable majority of their own citizens, who were targeted by the Salafi seditionists as well, to the detriment of national unity.
This was the case of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) which represents some fourteen million Nigerian Muslims adhering to the jurisprudential school of the Ahl al-Bayt or Blessed Household of Prophet Muhammad (SAWA), whose leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, was subjected to undue detention and held prisoner since the army’s unprovoked attack on his headquarters in the city of Zaria in 2015, until his release late last year.
The venerable Sheikh is the symbol of Islamic and inter-religious unity in Nigeria, and despite his sufferings that led to the deterioration of his health and killing of several of his sons, holds no grudge against his tormentors.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, which along with many world countries and international human rights organizations, had welcomed Sheikh Zakzaky’s release, is eager to help the government of Nigeria overcome the problems created by the Zionists, as well as cooperate with the Nigerian people, irrespective of their religion, through economic-industrial cooperation for their overall betterment.