from DANAI MWARUMBA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – PRESIDENT of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, has completed his historic three-country tour of Africa, where his government signed numerous memoranda of understanding (MoU).
He is the first head of state of the West Asian country to embark on such a trip in a decade, as his country revives relations with Africa.
It is befitting that the last country he toured was Zimbabwe, which like Iran, is under sanctions by the United States (US).
Raisi was seen off the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare by Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, late on Thursday.
Raisi and Mnangagwa presided over the signing of 12 MoUs in the fields of agriculture, health, social and child protection, energy as well as telecommunications and information technology (ICT).
“Our cooperation with Zimbabwe and Africa, a continent full of potential, can help us make mutual advancements,” Raisi said.
Mnangagwa believes it is crucial that these two countries under sanctions maintain relations.
“It is important to show them (imposers of sanctions) that we are united,” Mnangagwa said during the interactions with his Iranian counterpart.
US sanctions on Iran have been in place since 1979. Zimbabwe has been under similar restrictions since 2001.
Iran and Zimbabwe established diplomatic relations in 1983, three years after the former’s independence from Britain, the US’ closest ally.
Prior to the visit to Harare, Raisi was first in Kenya, where he met President William Ruto.
They signed new MoUs in the areas of agriculture, culture and heritage, information, technology, fisheries, housing, urban and metropolitan development.
In Uganda, Raisi met counterpart, Yoweri Museveni.
Iran and Uganda, the two delegations explored collaborations on agriculture, energy as well as innovation and technology.
They pledged cooperation in fighting terrorism and extremism.
Raisi has been in office since 2012, as Iran’s eighth president. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the last Iranian leader to visit Africa, in 2013.
– CAJ News