President leaves for Africa for a month after a three-country journey to Latin America.
Tehran, Iran — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has launched into his first tour of Africa, which Tehran plans to make use of to broaden political and financial relations throughout the continent.
Raisi departed Tehran on Tuesday for a visit that may take him to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe within the first by an Iranian president in 11 years.
On Monday, Overseas Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani instructed reporters that Africa is a “continent of alternative” that wishes to cooperate with Iran and Tehran is raring to reciprocate.
“We will describe this journey as a brand new place to begin to strengthen financial and commerce relations, along with boosting political and cultural relations with international locations on this continent,” he stated.
Alireza Peyman Pak, a former head of Iran’s Commerce Promotion Group and now an Agriculture Ministry official, instructed state tv forward of the journey that Iran had “uncared for” alternatives in Africa lately as China and a few neighboring international locations of Tehran, together with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have strengthened their presence on the continent.
Pak stated Iran had exported $1.2 billion value of products and providers — together with petrochemicals, meals, medicines and technical and engineering providers — to Africa final yr. He added that the quantity remains to be not excessive sufficient, regardless of being an enchancment over current years.
“An African greenback is similar as a European greenback. Pursuits are the identical. The worldwide financial system requires us to take care of all alternatives on a global scale and enhance our international alternate earnings,” he stated, including that Iran might additionally alternate items with African international locations in circumstances the place banking techniques are weak or sanctions are a problem.
In March, Raisi hosted a gathering with a gaggle of representatives from West Africa, presenting Iran as a special type of associate in comparison with international locations within the West with a colonial historical past on the continent.
“The growth of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s relations with Africa just isn’t aimed on the wealth of this area, however on the objective of progress and well-being for all nations,” he stated.
The journey comes a month after Raisi launched into a tour of Latin America, the place he signed a bunch of agreements to strengthen ties with US-sanctioned allies Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua.
Tehran has been attempting to diversify its relations since the US unilaterally deserted its nuclear take care of Iran in 2018.