South Africa signs deals with Iran to boost trade ties

GMT 05:53 2016 Tuesday ,26 April

Arab Today, arab today South Africa signs deals with Iran to boost trade ties

Jacob Zuma with Hasan Rouhani
Johannesburg - XINHUA

 South African President Jacob Zuma on Monday concluded a state visit to Iran, with the two sides signing a series of agreements, his spokesman has said.

During his two-day visit, Zuma met with his Iranian counterpart Hasan Rouhani and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Khomeini, according to presidential spokesperson Bongani Majola.

The two presidents agreed to take bilateral cooperation to "a higher level" after economic sanctions imposed by the West against Iran were lifted in January.

They witnessed the signing of a series of agreements covering trade, education, science and technology, energy, agriculture, mining, infrastructure development, finance, and tourism.

They also agreed to strengthen intelligence cooperation on "strategic regional security and stability issues" to combat terrorism in particular.

Iran was once South Africa's biggest crude oil supplier before South Africa halted oil imports from Iran in June 2012 over the sanctions.

In the meantime, South African exports to Iran declined from 1.27 billion rand (about 89.4 million U.S. dollars) in 2008 to 270 million rand (about 19 million dollars) in 2014.

South Africa is now said to be negotiating with Iran to resume oil imports.

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