Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need to strengthen relations with South Africa saying that undoubtedly deepening such ties is in the interest of both countries and the two regions.
Rouhani said Iran’s relations with South Africa, as a friendly country, have always been very good and Tehran always stood next to the African nation during their anti-apartheid campaign.
He made the remarks in a Wednesday evening meeting with South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor in Tehran.
The president also referred to cooperation in the fields of science and research and strengthening bilateral economic and commercial relations to develop ties.
“Our political relations and international cooperation have always been substantial, and the South African representatives in specialised and international organisations have always been on the side of the Islamic Republic,” he stressed.
Referring to Washington’s unlawful withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal, as well as the imposition of economic sanctions on the Iranian nation, Rouhani emphasised this act by the US government was to the detriment of all and the United States itself.
“We hope all our friends around the world, including South Africa, will take more decisive stance against US’ illegal and inhumane actions towards the Iranian nation which even include food and medicine sanctions.”
Iran and South Africa have always had common views on the issue of regional security and counterterrorism, and “we have always wanted to see greater security in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf,” noted Rouhani.
Referring to the South African Foreign Minister’s statements in support of the oppressed Palestinian people, the president underscored the need for worldwide consultations about the oppressed Palestinian people as well as other displaced and war-ravaged people, including the oppressed nation of Yemen.
For her part, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor said the two countries’ ties have always been very stable and principled, reiterating that “we want to expand Tehran-Pretoria ties in all spheres.
Referring to the meeting of the Joint Economic Commission of the two countries in Tehran and her meeting with his Iranian counterpart, the South African Foreign Minister stated “it was a very good meeting, and we explored the areas of cooperation and development of mutual relations very well.”
She described the JCPOA as a very courageous step, saying Iran has fully fulfilled its obligations in the deal, but the US has withdrawn from the accord by not fulfilling its obligations. “We want the US to return to the deal and end sanctions on Iran,” she added.
The South African Foreign Minister also conveyed the warm greetings of her country’s president to Rouhani and handed the South African President’s invitation to Rouhani to pay a visit to the country.