Iran can connect South Africa to the countries in Central Asia, Caucasus and Russia, as well as Eastern Europe through the North-South corridor, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.
President Rouhani made the remarks at a joint press conference with South African counterpart Jacob Zuma on a visit to Tehran Apr. 24, Iran’s state-run IRINN TV reported.
“Through the ports of the South Africa, Iran can gain a way to the large parts of Africa, as well,” President Rouhani said.
Both sides have great opportunities in economic, trade and technology sectors, the Iranian president said, adding the issues of cooperation in banking and transportation sectors were discussed at the meeting.
He further said that developing banking relations can take the lead in expanding the general relations between the two countries.
“We can also have good cooperation in industry, mining and energy sectors as well,” President Rouhani said.
The parties also discussed the possibility of having scientific, academic and technological cooperation between the two sides, he said, adding such cooperation can result in the promotion of the scientific and technological position of both countries internationally.
The issues of boosting tourism between the two countries and a possibility of establishing direct flights between Tehran and Pretoria to enhance this issue was discussed during the meeting, President Rouhani said.
President Rouhani also said that he has negotiated fighting against terrorism with his South African counterpart.
“We discussed the possible cooperation or coordination that can be formed between the intelligence services of the two countries and the political cooperation which can be very helpful and effective in combating terrorist groups.”
Regional issues including crisis in Yemen and Syria were also discussed at mutual talks, President Rouhani said, adding that the both sides believe that a political solution can be the only solution to Yemen and Syria problems.
Heading a high-ranking 180-member economic and politic delegation, President Zuma arrived in Tehran on April 23 at the invitation of President Rouhani.
The Iranian and South African officials signed eight memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on the sidelines of the meeting between Presidents Rouhani and Zuma.
Pretoria was one of Iran’s traditional oil markets before the imposition of sanctions on the Islamic Republic due to its disputed nuclear program. Before sanctions cut down Iran’s crude oil exports in June 2012, South Africa was buying on average 68,000 barrels of oil from Tehran per day.