Deputy Minister Ebrahim to host Dr Hadi Solaimanpour, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs

– Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Ebrahim I Ebrahim will on Tuesday, 8 March 2011, host the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs Dr Hadi Solaimanpour during his visit to South Africa.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim will meet Deputy Foreign Minister Solaimanpour within the context of existing bilateral, economic and trade relations between the two countries. 

Bilateral Political Relations

South Africa and Iran enjoys positive bilateral engagements since the re-establishment of diplomatic relations on 10 May 1994. Ambassador Ashgar Ebrahimi Asl is the current Iranian Ambassador to South Africa whilst Mr Ebrahim Saley is currently the South African Ambassador in Tehran.

In 1995 South Africa and Iran established a Joint Bilateral Commission (JBC) to allow for a high-level review of existing bilateral relations and to consider ways in which these relations could be expanded. The JBC is chaired by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and Iran’s Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance; and meets alternatively in South Africa and Iran biannually. The JBC is regarded as one of South Africa’s most successful and longest-running bilateral mechanisms. South Africa is scheduled to host the 11th session of the JBC in 2011.

In this regard, the two Deputy Ministers are expected to discuss amongst others:-

  • Developments in South Africa and Iran
  • Multilateral issues including human rights and non-proliferation issues
  • Developments in Africa and the Middle East
  • Preparations for the 11th session of the JBC
  • The status of bilateral and economic relations between the two countries;

 Economic relations

Several South African companies are involved in major projects in Iran. Iran is currently South Africa’s largest supplier of oil, Saudi Arabia being the second. Trade balance is in Iran’s favour largely due to South Africa’s oil imports from Iran. An estimated R 22 847 407 000 worth of crude oil was imported from Iran – that is, 27,9% of all South African oil imports in 2010.

For further information please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for DIRCO, on 082 884 5974


OR Tambo Building
Private Bag X 152

08 March 2011

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