Iran says ready for closer ties with S. Africa
President Hassan Rouhani underlined on Tuesday that Iran considers South Africa as its close friend and is willing to establish closer ties with the popular and democratic government of South Africa.
The Iranian head of government made the remarks in a meeting with the new South African Ambassador to Tehran, Vika Mazwi Khumalo.
President Rouhani received the new ambassador to let him submit his letter of credentials.
“In addition to bilateral ties, the two countries have supported each other in international stages and we hope that we can further develop our relations in cultural, political and economic fields,” said Rouhani, adding, “The Islamic Republic of Iran and South Africa have very good potentials and their economies can supplement each other.”
He went on to say “Iran’s previous regime had close ties with the Apartheid government in oil, economy and mine sectors and after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, we cut all our relations with South Africa to help its people fight the Apartheid.”
Vika Mazwi Khumalo, for his part, said that South Africa is determined to deepen its relations and cooperation with Iran, as stressed by Nelson Mandela.
Referring to the ruling of International Court of Justice (ICJ) in favor of Iran, he added, “South Africa always supports the Islamic Republic of Iran’s stances in international arenas.”
“We are determined to develop our economic cooperation and relations with Iran,” the South African diplomat continued.
South Africa is an active member of the Non-Aligned Movement, NAM, with good ties with Iran. Iran has always lauded the achievements anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the two countries share many common grounds about international issues.