Following are excerpts from an interview with President of Gambia Yayha Jammeh, which took place during a recent visit to Iran. The interview aired on Al-Manar TV on January 9, 2007.
Yayha Jammeh: With regard to our relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and, of course, with regard to the international crisis that it has generated with regard to the peaceful nuclear program – I think the bottom line is for the international community to make sure that justice is done. I'll take you back to... Just recently, a major power that already has nuclear weapons – they said they are going to go in for a new generation of nuclear weapons, and that didn't raise an eyebrow in the West. My principal belief is that nobody should have nuclear weapons. If you have nuclear weapons, why do you have to keep it now? Maybe the reasons for the introduction of nuclear weapons in those days are no longer prevailing. So I think all countries should get rid of nuclear weapons, because if you have nuclear weapons, corrupt people are bound to have nuclear weapons. Because if you don't want to bully anybody, you don't have to arm yourself to a point where you can walk into somebody's back yard and kick him out. With regard to the Iranian nuclear program, they say it is for peaceful purposes. It is the legitimate right of any country to have a nuclear program for peaceful purposes, to generate energy. Other small countries in the West have nuclear power plants, and that's not an issue. Now, are they telling us that Arabs and Africans – and Muslims, for that matter – shouldn't have nuclear weapons? If they don't want us to have nuclear weapons, then what is their intention? But my principal belief is that nobody should have nuclear weapons. All countries should scrap their nuclear weapons, and you go back to a peaceful world. If not, every country has a right to nuclear weapons, because the way things are now – where you can sit down and then be invaded, because somebody is armed with nuclear weapons – the world is dangerous.
With regard to the Iranian nuclear program, I have no reason to doubt their sincerity and integrity, when they say it's for peaceful purposes. Other countries have nuclear power plants for peaceful purposes, and that did not raise an eyebrow. So I think that whether to have a nuclear program or not is the supreme decision of the Iranian people. So whether our relationship will be affected by that... Our relationship will not be affected, because our principal belief is that we do not judge people or countries, based on the decision of others. And, of course... Coming back to the question whether Gambia also would be penalized as a result of our good relations with Iran – I am not afraid of anything. I am not afraid of any power except the power of the Almighty Allah. And as long as I am sincere in what I do, and as long as I believe and put my fate and the destiny of the Gambian people in the hands of the Almighty Allah, I am not afraid of any power in this world.