Iran says ready to promote friendly ties with African states

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Iranian Defense Minister Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani on Monday expressed Tehran’s readiness to enhance friendly relations with all African states, especially the “independent and revolutionary” country of Zimbabwe.

He made the remarks in a meeting with visiting Vice President of Zimbabwe Constantino Chiwenga in the Iranian capital Tehran, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

Ashtiani highlighted Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit in July 2023 to Harare and an upcoming trip by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Tehran, noting that these interactions underscored the significance both nations placed on enhancing bilateral relations.

He said that following the victory of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Africa has gained a special position in the country’s foreign policy.

During the talks, the Iranian defense minister slammed the West for adopting a “double standard” approach in combating terrorism and for remaining silent about Israel’s killing of Palestinians, especially children, in Gaza.

The Zimbabwean vice president, for his part, said Israel’s attack against Palestinians was indicative of the West’s double standards and contradictory policies, condemning Israel’s attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Syria’s capital Damascus early April, in which seven Iranians, including two veteran commanders, were killed.

Pointing out that both his country and Iran were under Western countries’ sanctions, Chiwenga emphasized that Iran was among the partners with which Harare was ready to expand its defense cooperation and economic relations.

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