South Africa supports Iran’s right of access to the civilian nuclear technology, a senior official of the African nation said.
“South Africa, as a country with nuclear facilities and know-how, supports use of the nuclear energy for peaceful purposes by Iran,” South African Deputy International Relations and Cooperation Minister Numa India Amfakto told FNA on Friday.
She noted that the South African Government has been closely monitoring the progress of the nuclear talks between Iran and the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, France and Britain plus China).
“We also welcome the extension of (the deadline envisaged in) the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) that suspended some economic sanctions against Iran,” India Amfakto said.
Meantime, she pointed to the two countries’ Joint Economic Cooperation Commission, and said, “This commission has gained much more momentum since the meetings in late October 2013 when the 11th joint commission meeting was held successfully with very fruitful results.”
The South African deputy international relations and cooperation minister noted that the 12th commission meeting will be held in Tehran during the upcoming visit of the South African President Jacob Zuma later this year.
She said that Iran and South Africa have been enjoying friendly relations after the freedom of South Africa in 1994.
“Iran, after its Islamic Revolution, has been a firm supporter of the cause of the African people for freedom to the extent that it cut all its relations with the Apartheid regime,” Amfakto added.
She noted that South Africa’s experience of freedom struggles resembles the experience and the achievements of the Iranians during the Islamic Revolution.
“The South Africans were suffering from the apartheid system while the Iranians suffered from the dictatorial regime of the Shah,” Amfakto said.
Iran has striven hard to maximize relations with the African continent.
Iran is also an observing member of the AU and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.
The country is considered as one of the AU’s strategic partners along with India, Japan, China, several South American states and Turkey, while Tehran is also believed to be prioritizing promotion of its economic and political ties with the African states.
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