South Africa and Iran on Sunday signed eight agreements on cooperation in trade, agriculture, oil resources amongst others.
This was during a state visit to Tehran by South African president Jacob Zuma.
Zuma who is on a three day state visit to the middle east country said the visit was an opportunity to dramatically expand trade with Iran
There is a sharp competition between Asian and European countries for cooperation agreements with Iran, but we will never forget our close friends from the era of sanctions.
On his part, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said that South Africa had given support to his country during its time under sanctions and added that he would like to see direct flights opening from the capital city Tehran.
khamenei_ir: Economic & trade ties between Iran & South Africa must increase to correspond capacities of the two c… pic.twitter.com/3gviXyyaYW— Mehr News Agency (@MehrnewsCom) April 24, 2016
“Today, after the nuclear accords and the end of sanctions against Iran, there is a sharp competition between Asian and European countries for cooperation agreements with Iran, but we will never forget our close friends from the era of sanctions,” Rouhani said, referring to South Africa.
Iran has never shied away from making it public that is keen to resume its status as South Africa’s primary source of oil and kick-start a trade previously estimated at some 380,000 barrels per day
On its part, South Africa’s status as a net importer of oil means that it is keen to resume a reliable supply as soon as possible.
Africa’s most developed economy is hoping to exploit a market hungry for investment as tens of billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets will now be unfrozen following the lifting of international sanctions against the Islamic Republic earlier this year.
In a statement, South Africa’s presidency added that “the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions against Iran provides immense potential for closer commercial and investment cooperation between South Africa and Iran.”
South Africa also made mention of its intentions to build an oil refinery, that will cushion its petrol supply and reduce its dependence on foreign companies.