Iranian Deputy FM: Tehran, Pretoria Stress Reinvigoration of Political Ties (FARS News Agency (Iran))

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in a meeting with his South African counterpart Nomaindiya Mfeketo underlined that Tehran and Pretoria are highly interested in the further expansion of bilateral relations, specially in the political field.

“Tehran and Pretoria are trying to come closer in different fields,” Amir Abdollahian said during the meeting in Tehran on Saturday.

Mfeketo, for his part, referred to the recent nuclear agreement between Tehran and the world powers, and said it can enhance Iran’s economic capabilities in the world, specially in the field of energy.

He added that Iran and South Africa enjoy age-old cooperation, and expressed the hope that the two countries’ joint political commission would further increase the states’ cooperation.

Tehran hosted the 6th meeting of Iran and South Africa Joint Political Commission on Saturday in the presence of the two countries’ deputy ministers and officials.

The meeting was headed by Amir Abdollahian in the Political and International Studies Office of Iran’s foreign ministry.

The meeting was aimed at exploring avenues to put into force the ratifications of the Joint Commission between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of South Africa, held in Tehran in May 2015.

Iran-South Africa Joint Political Commission holds its meetings biannually in Tehran or Pretoria.

In March, a South African delegation who visited Iran to discuss ways for the further expansion of economic ties with Tehran, underlined Cape Town’s enthusiasm for increasing investment in Iran.

“There are different grounds for the development of trade cooperation between the two countries and South Africa can be a gate for Iran’s presence in the big African market,” South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane who headed her country’s delegation to Tehran said, addressing a joint meeting with Iran’s Chamber of Commerce on May 11.

“South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran are natural economic partners and are ideal gates for each other’s presence in their respective regions,” she added.

Nkoana-Meshabane referred to the negative impact of sanctions on trade between the two countries, and said, “We will not wait for the removal of the sanctions to develop trade with Iran, rather we have always tried to expand our relations with Iran in all fields because Iran has stood beside us during the campaign against the Apartheid regime.”

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