Pretoria’s pro-Iran stance can boost progress in Global South

February 7, 2008

Iran and South Africa have taken great steps to expand their relations since the multi-ethnic government led by the African National Congress (ANC) took power in 1994.

Iran stood by the people of South Africa during the terrible days of apartheid and still stands by the people of the country.
Indeed, the two countries’ leaders are determined to strengthen ties in line with the greater plan to boost South-South cooperation and harmonize the stances of the countries of the Global South.
In recent years, Tehran and Pretoria have been increasing cooperation in the spheres of trade, oil, and petrochemicals.
South Africa is a key member of the Non-Aligned Movement, a bloc of developing countries that has resisted the efforts to force Tehran to halt uranium enrichment.
Recently, the South African ambassador to the United Nations said his country would like to wait for International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei’s upcoming progress report on inspections in Iran.
“I think the IAEA report is very important because they are… the experts,” Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo said. “Let’s see what they have to say.”
A report issued by the UN nuclear watchdog on November 8 acknowledged the transparency of Iran’s nuclear program and said it found Tehran to be truthful about key aspects of its nuclear history.
In addition, a U.S. intelligence report released last December concluded that Iran has no nuclear weapons program.
The South African government has been taking an independent and principled position at international bodies like the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Group of 77.
And it is expected that South Africa, which currently sits on the UN Security Council, will stick to its independent and principled position in regard to Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities.
After all, Iran is prepared to share the benefits of its scientific achievements with the other countries of the Global South.
South Africa expressed regret over the United Nations’ adoption of a sanctions resolution against Iran under U.S. pressure last year.
In the spirit of South-South cooperation, it is hoped that the South African delegation to the United Nations will oppose efforts to bring another politically-motivated and unjustified resolution against Iran up for a vote at the Security Council.