Africa as significant as Persian Gulf to Iran, Zarif says

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has attached high significance to Africa, saying the continent is as vital for Iran as the Persian Gulf region.

“Africa has the same level of significance for Iran as the Persian Gulf does,” Zarif said at a meeting with Iranian businessmen and nationals residing in Uganda after his arrival in the capital Kampala on Monday night.

“Relations with African countries, like relations with neighboring countries, are within the strategic policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.

Ties with African countries are in line with the national interests of Iran and prepare the ground for persistent and stable national development, he added, noting, Iran should be present in educational, cultural, economic, scientific, and health fields in Africa.

After Zarif’s talks, some of the businessmen also delivered speeches on the Iranian merchants’ capabilities and opportunities for investment in the African market.

The Iranian foreign minister embarked on a diplomatic tour of four East African countries — Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania — at the head of a delegation on Sunday.

The four-leg visit could mark the beginning of a new chapter in Tehran’s ties with Africa.

Iran already has a significant presence in agricultural and economic projects in some African countries and has been a major contributor to humanitarian missions in the continent over the past years.

The intensified diplomacy on Africa is a sign of Iran’s willingness to engage deeper in African political and economic equations, a move that can further bolster the country’s foothold in the region.

By Press TV

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