Tehran pushes for closer cooperation with South Africa

January 26, 2010 - 0:0

TEHRAN — Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has described Iran and South Africa as two important countries and called for the consolidation of relations in all areas between the two states.

Iran’s policy is to expand multidimensional relations with friendly countries, he stated at a meeting with South African Parliament Speaker Max Vuyisile Sisulu on Monday.
Expansion of cooperation between Iran and South Africa as two important countries which are located in two strategic parts of the world could be constructive for the region and the whole world, Mottaki noted.
Mottaki reiterated that constructive economic cooperation should be materialized in the context of cordial political relationship. He also expressed hope for tightening of cultural and social ties between the two states.
He also called for more collaboration in oil exploration and drilling, and construction of dams, power plants, roads, schools, hospitals and telecommunications among other things.
Commenting on the long history of Iran-South Africa relationship, he said during the racist apartheid era, Iranians were showing sympathy toward South Africans.
Max Sisulu, for his part, said that South Africa has always looked up to Islamic Revolution of Iran as a model and added that Iran proved that one should fight against arrogant powers to win independence.
He also called Iran as a major regional and global player.
He also stated that every nation has the right to peaceful nuclear technology and added that South Africa will continue to support Iran on the issue.
In a meeting with Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Saturday, Sisulu criticized the U.S. for applying double standards toward Iran’s nuclear energy program while turning a blind eye toward Israel’s nuclear activities. The top lawmaker also said South Africa supports Iran’s right to have a peaceful nuclear energy program.