Iran commended political relations with Zimbabwe and called for strengthening trade and economic ties between the two countries.
Speaking at a ceremony in Harare to commemorate the anniversary of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, incoming Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Ahmad Erfanian said his government will strengthen trade relations that have been low because of sanctions imposed on Iran by western countries, the Herald reported on Monday.
“Despite the excellent political relations between the two countries, trade volume is below expectations. I will devote all my efforts to work toward strengthening economic and trade relations with Zimbabwe,” he said.
“With the implementation of the nuclear deal with six powers, sanctions against Iran have been lifted and there is no restriction on expanding trade relations between the two countries.” The African country’s deputy foreign minister, Edgar Mbwembwe, said relations between Iran and Zimbabwe dated back to the liberation struggle.
“We celebrate this historic and momentous day fully cognizant of the close relations that so happily exist between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” he said.
“These strong bonds of friendship and solidarity have been mutually nurtured before and after Zimbabwe’s independence.”
Mbwembwe said the government will continue to make relations stronger for the people’s benefit.
“We remain committed to maintain this momentum to further strengthen these relations for the benefit of our people,” he said.
The senior diplomat highlighted a number of projects initiated with the support of the Iranian government in previous years, including Zimbabwe-Iran Economic Commission and scholarships for Zimbabweans in medicine and engineering.
“We have consulted and mutually implemented wide-ranging programs and projects undertaken in the past years,” he said.
“[These include] the Zimbabwean-Iran joint commission, scholarships for Zimbabwean students, the visit by secretary of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Joey Bimha in November 2016 and cooperation in small- and medium- enterprises and cooperative sector.”
Mbwembwe said the impending visit by Speaker of Parliament Advocate Jacob Mudenda to Tehran was also evidence of cordial relations between the two countries. The Islamic Revolution gained its final victory on February 11, 1979, after years of struggle, self-sacrifice and resistance under the leadership of the late Imam Khomeini. The day in 2017 marks the 38th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in Iran.
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