Iran, S. Africa Keen on Boosting Relations
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – In a message to his South African counterpart, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani welcomed expansion of bilateral ties with that country.
In the message, which was in response to Jacob Zuma's felicitation letter, President Rouhani called for further development of ties with South Africa in all areas of interests, and at bilateral as well as international levels.
Economic and political relations between the two countries are quite warm and have continued to expand. South Africa and Iran share historical bilateral relations and the latter supported the South African liberation movements. It severed official relations with South Africa in 1979 and imposed a trade boycott in protest against the country’s apartheid policies. However, in January 1994, Iran lifted all trade and economic sanctions against South Africa and diplomatic relations were reestablished on 10 May 1994.
Several South African companies are involved in major projects in Iran. MTN Group has a 49% stake in the Irancell consortium which was awarded the second mobile telecommunications license in Iran. It started operations in October 2006.