TEHRAN (FNA)- South Africa announced that it is willing to resume imports of Iranian crude as soon as sanctions against the country are removed.
“We are definitely negotiating and looking at when to fully resume oil imports from Iran,” South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo told reporters on Wednesday.
“For South Africa if there’s a process of doing that lawfully, tomorrow we will do it, if there are no obstacles to that,” the official added.
A South African Petroleum Board is due to travel to Tehran later this month to discuss resuming oil imports from Iran.
The oil delegation plans to also confer on developing cooperation in the oil industry, petrochemicals and GLT production units as well.
Tehran hosted the 6th meeting of Iran and South Africa Joint Political Commission on August 29 in the presence of the two countries’ deputy ministers and officials.
The meeting was headed by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Hossein Amir Abdollahian in the Political and International Studies Office of Iran’s foreign ministry.
South Africa’s Deputy Foreign Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo, Deputy Energy Minister Thembisile Majola, Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, Deputy Minister of State Security Ellen Molekane, as well as 30 general directors from different ministries in South Africa reportedly attended the session.
On the same day, Majola met with Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Mansour Moazemi.
After the meeting Moazemi announced that South Africans were to have talks with officials from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) about construction of new refineries and developing the capacity of the present ones in the Islamic Republic.
“The African country is even ready to buy petrochemicals from Iran and is setting the grounds to take part in Iranian projects to produce Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as well as Gas to Liquid (GTL),” he said.
He said Pretoria had been among major importers of Iran’s crude oil but the volume of its purchases had been restricted due to the US-led sanctions on Iran in the past years.
“The country aims to increase its imports of crude oil up to 380,000 barrels per day,” Moazemi said.
Following the negotiations with Iranian officials, South African Deputy Energy Minister said that Pretoria viewed Iran as a reliable future supplier of crude oil and planned to start talks with major corporations that were involved in its energy sector including Shell, BP, Total and Chevron to resume trade of crude oil with Tehran as soon as the sanctions against Iran were lifted.
Majola vowed that her country was specifically eager to facilitate the transfer of GTL technology to Iran to help it promote its gas production plans.