President Rouhani made the remarks during a meeting and receiving the credentials of the new ambassador of South Africa, Vika Mazwi Khumalo, and said that Tehran and Pretoria, in addition to bilateral relations, have close and constructive cooperation in international arenas.
He noted that the two countries have always been supportive of one another in different stages In the international arena, politically and legally, and 'we hope that we can develop our relations more culturally, politically and economically than ever before'.
The Iranian president said that given the proximity of the two nations, the Islamic Republic of Iran would like to establish a close and intimate relationship with the democratic government of South Africa.
He noted that Iran's former regime had close ties with the apartheid government in oil, economic and mineral fields, and after the victory of the revolution, 'we had cut off all of these relations in order to help the people of the country against apartheid, and today it is necessary to bring all those relations to follow up on a higher level'.
President Rouhani also emphasized strengthening of financial and banking relations between the two countries, and expressed hope that there would be a development in this regard.
The new ambassador of South Africa, Vika Mazwi Khumalo, also stated that the people of South Africa are always grateful for Iran's support for their hard-line struggle against apartheid and never forget it, adding, 'We are determined to continue the late Mandela's emphasis on extending and strengthening the spirit of cooperation between the two countries at all levels.'
South Africa's ambassador also emphasized his country's support for the International Court of Justice's ruling, and said, 'South Africa has always supported the positions of the Islamic Republic of Iran at international communities and we are deeply interested in developing economic relations between the two countries in various fields, and we have identified areas for joint cooperation'.
Mazwi Khumalo said that South Africa has reaffirmed its commitment to remain with Iran, especially in the current difficult circumstances, saying that we are determined to overcome the banking obstacles in strengthening the two countries' economic relations.
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