Felex Share Senior Reporter
The outstanding political relations between Zimbabwe and Iran should lay the foundation for strong trade and economic cooperation between the two countries, the Iranian envoy has said. Speaking after meeting Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday, Iranian ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Ahmad Erfanian said trade volumes between the two countries should be increased.
“We spoke about the excellent relations between Zimbabwe and Iran,” he said. “As you may be aware, the relations between the two countries date back to before the time Zimbabwe got independence.
“During the last three decades of cooperation, four Iranian Presidents have visited Zimbabwe and President Mugabe has also visited Iran four times.”
The two countries have managed to overcome the trade sanctions imposed on them by Western countries, he said.
Said Mr Erfanian: “We have excellent political relations and I think it’s a good foundation for strengthening our bilateral, trade and economic relations.
“We emphasised on the different fields of cooperation like science and technology, education, mining and agriculture. We believe that we can do a lot during my stay here and with the help of the Government of Zimbabwe, we can do a lot, especially in trade and economy.”
Mr Erfanian said significant progress had been made in tobacco trade.
“I can tell you that a contract was signed between an Iranian tobacco company and a Zimbabwean tobacco company for about $4,2 million,” he said. “We bought tobacco from Zimbabwe and the second contract was signed between the two companies recently. I hope we will be able to sign more contracts in this field.”
Mr Erfanian went on: “Concerning tractors, Iran is one of the countries that manufactures tractors. I spoke with one of the companies and if the Zimbabwean company is ready, there are a lot of tractors in Iran.”
Zimbabwe intends to assemble tractors with the assistance of Iran.
In the field of education, Mr Erfanian said Iran had granted Zimbabwe students a number of scholarships to study various disciplines in Tehran.