Press Release

16 June 2014

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane concludes successful working visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has today concluded a successful, two-day working visit to Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The purpose of the Minister’s visit was to commemorate and consolidate relations between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which dates back to pre-1994 and to a period when the Islamic Republic supported South Africa’s liberation movement and struggle against Apartheid.

The Minister’s visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s freedom and democracy and 20 years of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

To mark the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s freedom, the Minister participated in a Seminar hosted by the South African Embassy, in conjunction with the Centre for International Studies and Research in Tehran. The Minister delivered a keynote address on Monday, 16 June 2014 under the theme: “20 years of South Africa’s freedom and relations between South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

During her address, the Minister stated that: “The year 2014 truly presents a momentous occasion for us as a unified nation to reflect on how freedom and democracy were achieved, the progress we have made thus far, and how we as South Africans are going to work together to implement Vision 2030.”

Other speakers at the Seminar were: H.E Ms Shahin Dokht Molaverdi, Deputy President for Women and Family Affairs; H.E Mr Hossein Amir Abdolahian, Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs; and Mr Mac Maharaj, Spokesperson of the President of South Africa, who addressed the Seminar in his personal capacity.

Whilst in Tehran, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane met with her Iranian counterpart, Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The two Ministers recalled the successful 11th Joint Commission held in October last year and reiterated the need to strengthen cooperation in the field of trade and investment; health; science and technology; and education.

Minister Nkoana-Mashabane stated that there is currently a South African business delegation in Tehran organised by the South African Government. “Their presence is a sign of growing bilateral economic relations between our two countries,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.

The two Ministers also had an opportunity to discuss developments in their respective countries and regions. On the multilateral front, the two Ministers discussed the need to strengthen South-South cooperation in the field of development, peace and security. In this regard, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane reiterated South Africa’s support for President Rouhani’s initiative that was tabled at the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly, calling for a dialogue against violence and extremism.

With regard to Iran’s nuclear programme, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane stated that South Africa welcomed the continued negotiations between the P5 (Permanent Members of the United Nations Security Council) and Iran and hoped that the final outcome will be fair and just and lead to the lifting of international sanctions.

The Minister also paid a courtesy call on the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr Hassan Rouhani. The Minister conveyed H.E President Jacob Zuma’s deepest appreciation for the support given to South Africa during the liberation struggle and the continued good diplomatic relations that exist between the two countries.

For more information, please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974


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