Kharrazi Says his African Tour could Lead to Expanded economic Ties with Tehran
Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi said his African tour last week, which included South Africa and Zimbabwe could lead to expanded economic ties with both nations, reported Iran News Agency (IRNA) Saturday.
"There are a lot of possibilities, particularly economic, with South Africa. Ties will improve in commerce, mining, energy, maritime transport and investments," he said, raising the possibility of long-term oil contracts in Iran's lucrative energy sector.
"Politically we are very close. We had good discussions and we could certainly, as part of the United Nations and other international institutions, work together to have an influence in the world," he said.
Kharazi also praised the "cultural and political ties as well as the potential economic relations" with Zimbabwe, said the agency.
However, AFP said that Kharrazi refused to be involved in Zimbabwe's controversial land reform program, which seeks to seize white-owned farms without payment and resettle poor blacks on the land, and has elicited threats of US sanctions.
Kharazi was quoted as saying in Harare that the United States had no right to meddle in Zimbabwe's internal affairs, said AFP.
Iran and the United States broke off diplomatic relations in 1980, several months after the hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran.
A bill under consideration in the US Congress would punish the Zimbabwean government for failing to curb lawlessness hurting the white farming community and opposition supporters, said AFP - (Several Sources)
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