Trade With Africa a Priority

Trade With Africa a PriorityTrade With Africa a Priority

The foreign minister said Iran considers trade with African countries, particularly South Africa, a "priority" in its plans to expand its international economic relations.

"Africa is among our top priorities for trade and economic cooperation, in which field South Africa has a special position," Mohammad Javad Zarif said, underlining the role of the two countries' private sectors in helping remove the obstacles and pave the way for increasing bilateral ties.

He made the remarks in a speech at the opening ceremony of the twelfth meeting of Iran-South Africa joint commission in Tehran on Sunday, which was attended by South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane and other high-ranking officials of the African country, IRNA reported.

"The existing potential can be exploited to promote bilateral relations," he stated.

The top diplomat referred to the establishment of world peace and security as a "concern" shared by the two countries, saying, "We will pursue this issue within the framework of our bilateral ties and international cooperation."

Mashabane, for her part, said her trip is aimed at improving bilateral diplomatic and economic relations and strategic cooperation between the two countries.

Expressing support for the ongoing talks between Iran and the major powers aimed at settling the dispute over Tehran's nuclear issue, she said, "We have never supported the sanctions imposed against Iran, as we regard them as illogical and illegal," adding, "In line with this, we believe the recent move by the (US) Senate could slow down the process of talks."

The Senate passed a bill last week that gives the US lawmakers a say on a prospective nuclear accord.

In addition, she denounced the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen, describing it as a "vain" and "unconstructive" attempt.