Zarif in South Africa to boost po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic re­la­tions

Iran Daily - - National -

Ira­nian For­eign Min­is­ter Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif left Tehran for Pre­to­ria on Tues­day to meet the African coun­try’s of­fi­cials and talk about ex­pan­sion of re­la­tions in di­verse fields. Zarif, who is head­ing a po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic del­e­ga­tion, is sched­uled to meet South African Pres­i­dent Cyril Ramaphosa and his coun­ter­part Lindiwe Sisulu.

He is to dis­cuss the Iran nu­clear agree­ment fol­low­ing the US with­drawal from the 2015 deal.

Dur­ing the visit, the Ira­nian del­e­ga­tion will also hold talks with South African eco­nomic of­fi­cials.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, Zarif vis­ited the African coun­try to par­tic­i­pate in the 13th Joint Com­mis­sion of Iran and South Africa.

South Africa and Iran en­joy close diplo­matic re­la­tions based on shared val­ues.

In April 2016, for­mer South African pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma vis­ited Iran to strengthen po­lit­i­cal, trade and in­vest­ment ties.

The two coun­tries signed sev­eral agree­ments on co­op­er­a­tion in ar­eas in­clud­ing trade, in­dus­tries, in­vest­ments, agri­cul­ture, wa­ter re­sources and oil in­dus­try re­search and de­vel­op­ment.

Zuma’s visit was the sec­ond South African state visit to Iran, the first hav­ing been un­der­taken by late pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela in 1999.

The Is­lamic Repub­lic sev­ered ties with South Africa in 1979 and banned do­ing any busi­ness with the African coun­try in protest against its apartheid poli­cies. How­ever, in Jan­uary 1994, Tehran and Pre­to­ria reestab­lished their diplo­matic re­la­tions.

Ex­pan­sion of re­la­tions with African na­tions in all po­lit­i­cal, eco­nomic and cul­tural fields is top on the agenda of Iran’s for­eign pol­icy.

Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani has re­peat­edly stressed his govern­ment’s in­ter­est in boost­ing re­la­tions with African states.


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