The Iranian foreign minister on Thursday embarked on a three-nation tour of African countries. He arrived in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, on the first leg of his trip, which will also take him to Namibia and Comoros."Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi says the country is willing to expand its relations with Zimbabwe, saying that both countries can play an effective role on the international scene. “The two countries have common and close political viewpoints and stances, and can play an instrumental role in international relations through consultation and cooperation,” Salehi said in a meeting with Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe. The top Iranian diplomat urged both sides to capitalize on their “mutual potential” in industrial, scientific, economic, trade and technological areas. He also called for the implementation of joint projects, expressing hope that his visit to Zimbabwe will mark a new phase in reciprocal ties. Salehi added that Iran was ready to share with Zimbabwe its great wealth of experience in different areas. Mugabe, for his part, said his country was keen to strengthen ties with the Islamic Republic, expressing Harare’s willingness to employ Iran’s experience in different fields. He criticized the unfair relations and double standards in the world as well as the imposition of illegal sanctions by hegemonic powers, and expressed support for Iran’s right to develop and use peaceful nuclear technology. The Iranian foreign minister on Thursday embarked on a three-nation tour of African countries. He arrived in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, on the first leg of his trip, which will also take him to Namibia and Comoros. During his five-day tour of the world’s second-largest continent, Salehi will sit down with the officials of the three countries to discuss bilateral relations as well as key regional and international issues. In a separate meeting with Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, Salehi called for constant consultations between the two countries on regional and international issues.
“Iran as the rotating president of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM), and Zimbabwe, as a key member of the movement, can contribute to the resolution of problems facing nations, including the issues in Syria and Africa,” Salehi said.He also called for the removal of any obstacles to the development of bilateral ties in order to pave the way for closer economic, cultural and trade cooperation. Mumbengegwi, for his part, said the two countries enjoy close relations, adding that Zimbabwe intended to explore new grounds for further cooperation with the Islamic Republic. Salehi's visit and meetings are in line with a central plank of Iran’s policy, which is to enhance relations with African nations on all political, economic and cultural fronts. AR/NN/HMV