Iran, South Africa urge intelligence cooperation in anti-terror fight
Iran and South Africa call for strengthening “intelligence and political” cooperation in a genuine fight against violence and terrorism, which pose a serious threat to the Middle East, Africa and the entire world.
In a joint press conference with his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma, in Tehran on Sunday, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the two sides discussed possible cooperation between the two countries’ intelligence services and also political cooperation to that end.
“This can be very helpful and effective in combating terrorist groups,” the Iranian president stated.
He added that the two sides exchanged views on the latest regional issues including developments in Iraq, Yemen and Syria.
Both Iran and South Africa believe that an inter-Yemeni dialog can settle the conflict in the impoverished country while a political solution can restore stability to Syria, the Iranian president said.
He also stated that the two countries urged support for the Iraqi government in its fight against terrorism in a bid to improve stability and peace in the Arab state.
“Like in the past, the two countries will have more serious cooperation in the field of international issues, particularly the future of the United Nations and reforms that the United Nations Security Council must undertake so that countries can defend their interests in the United Nations and particularly in the Security Council,” President Rouhani said.
Iran, South Africa sign eight MoUs
In the presence of Rouhani and Zuma, senior officials of Iran and South Africa signed eight documents and memoranda of understanding in Tehran on Sunday to boost mutual relations.
According to the documents, Tehran and Pretoria will strengthen cooperation in the fields of trade and industry, joint venture, agriculture, management of water resources, customs, fight against money-laundering, oil and culture.
Necessity for enhanced Iran-South Africa ties
In another part of his remarks, Rouhani said the two countries stressed the importance of strengthening relations in different sectors including banking, industry, mines, energy, technical and engineering services and transportation.
Iran’s chief executive noted that South Africa can connect Iran to Africa given its geographical position while Iranian ports can also link Africa to Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia and East Europe via North-South Corridor.
Heading a 180-member politico-economic delegation, Zuma arrived in Tehran on Sunday at the invitation of President Rouhani to discuss ways to strengthen relations between the two countries. The visit is taking place for the first time after Iran and the P5+1 group of countries started implementing the nuclear agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on January 16.
After the JCPOA went into effect, all nuclear-related sanctions imposed on Iran by the European Union, the UN Security Council and the United States were lifted. Iran has, in return, put some limitations on its nuclear activities.