Africa Top Priority in Tehran’s Foreign Policy

Africa Top Priority in Tehran’s Foreign Policy  Africa Top Priority in Tehran’s Foreign Policy

A senior government official said it has always been among the top priorities of Iran's foreign policy to develop friendly and cooperative ties with Africa.

"Iran has adopted a strategic approach to bolster ties with Africa, due to the continent's vital role in regional and international equations, and in view of cultural similarities between Iran and some African countries," IRNA quoted the vice president for executive affairs, Mohammad Shariatmadari, as saying.

Addressing African diplomatic envoys in a ceremony to mark Africa Day in Tehran on Wednesday, Shariatmadari said, "Commemoration of Africa Day is as important for us in Iran as it is for you, the official representatives of African countries."

The significance of Africa Day for Iran, he said, is because "we also care much about independence and establishment of national states and their freedom from colonialism and discrimination."

The vice president referred to the establishment of the Africa office in the Foreign Ministry as an indication of Iran's serious will to expand multifaceted interactions with African countries.

"My colleagues in the Cabinet, the Foreign Ministry and other Iranian institutions are prepared to step up cooperation with Africa in diplomatic, security, economic and commercial areas. They would appreciate your comments on new opportunities for cooperation," he said. "Agriculture, transportation, power plant construction, electricity generation, dam construction, education and health are among areas of cooperation highlighted between Iran and Africa, which can be achieved through joint commissions and commercial contracts."

Shariatmadari also pointed to extremist movements in the world and said large regions in the Middle East and Africa are challenged by terrorism, extremism, insecurity and violence, which lead to massacres and waste of national assets.

"With the help of new communications technologies, the self-styled Islamic State militant group is recruiting members in Syria and bringing them into Libya and other countries in Africa," he said, expressing Iran's readiness to cooperate with African states to establish and reinforce an anti-terrorism front.