Joint Declaration on the occasion of the Official Visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran by His Excellency, Mr MC Ramaphosa, Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, 07 - 09 November 2015
1. The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mr MC Ramaphosa has concluded his Official Visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran from 07 to 09 November 2015.
2. His Excellency, Deputy President Ramaphosa was accompanied by Minister Mokonyane of Water and Sanitation; Deputy Minister Mfeketo of International Relations and Cooperation; Deputy Minister Cele of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Deputy Minister Jonas of Finance; Deputy Minister Oliphant of Mineral Resources; Deputy Minister Xasa of Tourism; Senior Officials of the Departments of Energy, Science and Technology, Small Business Development, Trade and Industry, Council of Geoscience, Eskom, Financial Intelligence Centre, Mintek, South African Revenue Services and SA Tourism, as well as a large South African Business Delegation.
3. The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, together with his delegation, held bilateral talks with the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Excellency Mr Es’haq Jahangiri who was supported by Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr Ali Tayeb Nia; Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Hossein Amir Abdollahian; Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Mohammad Khazaei; Coordination and Supervision Deputy of the First Vice President, Mr Reza Veiseh and Deputy Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organisation, Mr Morteza Rahmani Movahed.
4. The bilateral talks between the two Deputy Heads of State and their delegations were held in an atmosphere of friendship, during which a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues were reviewed.
5. The Deputy President of South Africa and the First Vice President of Iran noted with satisfaction the historic and strategic relations between the two countries, which are grounded on the spirit of mutual respect. In this regard, they re-affirmed their strong principled commitment to the elevation and consolidation of bilateral political and economic relations and solidarity to one another.
6. They reviewed the guided implementation of the decisions of the 12th Joint Commission held in Tehran in May 2015 and the subsequent 6th Deputy Ministerial Working Group also held in Tehran in August 2015. The two Deputy Heads of State directed the Committees and Sub-Committees of the Joint Commission to expedite the implementation of projects and action plans agreed upon to elevate and consolidate bilateral relations between the two countries. They also identified further areas of cooperation to strengthen the historic relationship between the two countries.
7. They further held discussions on regional issues in the Middle East, particularly developments in Syria, Yemen and the Middle East Peace Process, and expressed concern over extremism and terrorism engulfing the region. Discussions were also held on international matters, such as the reform of the United Nation Security Council and other multilateral institutions.
8. The Deputy President of South Africa and the First Vice President of Iran observed the signing of the:
- Trilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between MINTEK and the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organisation (MIDRO) and Iran Mineral Processing Research Centre (IMPRC);
- MOU between Financial Intelligence Centre and Financial Intelligence Unit of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Information Exchange concerning Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing Terrorism;
- MOU between the Securities and Exchange Organisation and the Financial Services Board in Relation to Assistance and Mutual Cooperation in the Capital Markets Sector.
9. Deputy President Ramaphosa paid a courtesy call on the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Dr Hassan Rouhani. During the meeting, Deputy President Ramaphosa conveyed the warm greetings from the President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mr JG Zuma and reaffirmed his commitment to visit the Islamic Republic of Iran in early 2016. Deputy President Ramaphosa also offered South Africa’s congratulations to the People and the Government of the Islamic of the Republic of Iran for the successful conclusion of the negotiations between Iran and the P5 + 1 countries on Iran’s nuclear programme. Deputy President Ramaphosa reiterated South Africa’s support for Iran’s inalienable right to the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
10. The Deputy President also met with the Speaker of Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Mr Ali Ardeshir Larijani. During the meeting, the Deputy President and the Speaker of Parliament exchanged views on the possibility of cooperation between the Parliaments of the Republic of South Africa and that of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
11. Deputy President Ramaphosa further met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Mohammad Javad Zarif; the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade, Mr Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh; Minister of Petroleum, Mr Bijan Mandar Zangeneh.
12. Furthermore, Deputy Ramaphosa attended a Seminar on Trade and Economic Cooperation between Iran and South Africa, which took place at the Iran’s Trade Promotion Organisation. During the seminar, both Deputy President Ramaphosa and the Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade of Iran, Mr Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh delivered remarks and expressed hope that the trade and investment relationship between the two countries will grow to reflect the deep political relations between the two countries. Deputy Ramaphosa also visited the Mapna Group.
13. Side programmes for the accompanying Ministerial, Deputy Ministerial and Senior Official delegations were arranged, during which the South African Minister and Deputy Ministers, as well as Senior Officials met their counterparts and held site visits. The South African Business delegation also held engagements with their Iranian counterparts.
14. Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
The Parties agreed on the final draft text of the MOU on agricultural cooperation. The MOU is considered ready for final endorsement by the Parties. The Parties further agreed to operationalise the Technical Working Groups on Agriculture and Fisheries in order to action the MOU. The Parties also agreed that the Agriculture Technical Working Group has to work on the Draft Agreement in the Field of Veterinary and Animal Health; the Draft Agreement in the field Plant Quarantine and Plant Health and draft Agreement on Aquaculture and enforcement fisheries management models.
The Parties further engaged on a mechanism to facilitate cooperation in oil and gas.
The Parties continued with other engagements, including the creation of an effective financing/banking mechanism to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries.
17. Mineral Resources
The Parties agreed on the synergy amongst them and the importance of their roles in the promotion of national and international collaboration and increased contribution to the development of their respective countries in technical and commercial projects and activities of common interest.
18. Science and Technology
In exercising the Agreement on Scientific and Technological cooperation between Iran and South Africa signed on 31 May 2000, and on the basis of the agreed minutes of the 4th Joint Science and Technology Committee convened in July 2015 in Pretoria, the two countries launched the joint biotechnology workshop on 8 – 11 November 2015 in Tehran in which 11 South African researchers/officials attended. The next joint workshop will be convened on Oceanography around February in 2016 in South Africa. Iran and South Africa remain on their agreement to conduct their joint research projects funded by the two countries for the years 2017-2018.
19. Small Business Development
Following engagements between the Department of Small Business Development and the Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, South Africa and Iran concluded and endorsed proposed areas of cooperation in the area of cooperatives and both parties agreed to finalise the Memorandum of Understanding for possible signing during the State Visit to Iran early 2016.
The Department of Tourism and the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organisation indicated their readiness to negotiate a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Tourism Cooperation. A draft will be exchanged through diplomatic notes.
21. Trade and Investment Relations
The Parties made commitment to develop strategies to significantly expand cooperation on trade and investment. The parties acknowledged the progress that has been made in finalizing the MoU on the establishment of an Investment Joint Committee. Both sides exchanged notes on the implementation of the Roadmap with determined milestones in the short to long term period. Both Parties noted progress considered towards the launching of the SA – Iran Business Council during the State Visit to Iran by President Zuma in early 2016.
22. Water and Sanitation
Following engagements between the two water sector experts, the Parties concluded and endorsed the proposed areas of cooperation as contained in the draft Memorandum of Understanding in the field of Water Resources Management. Both parties agreed to finalise the Memorandum of Understanding for possible signing during the State Visit to Iran in early 2016. The Parties further agreed to create a platform for engagements by entities and private sector within the Water and Sanitation space that will inform the implementation plan.
23. Deputy President Ramaphosa expressed his gratitude to the People and Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for the gracious hospitality extended to him and his delegation, and extended an invitation to His Excellency Mr Es’haq Jahangiri, the First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran to visit South Africa.
24. This Declaration was agreed upon and issued on 09 November 2015.