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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Iran, South Africa Ink 8 Cooperation MoUs.

Iran, South Africa Ink 8 Cooperation MoUs. (Fars).

The MoUs were endorsed in Tehran on Sunday in the presence of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma.

The documents are aimed at broadening cooperation between Tehran and Pretoria in the fields of trade and industry, investment, agriculture, water resources management, insurance, exchange of information on money laundering, oil industry studies, culture and art.

Zuma, heading a high-ranking economic-political delegation, arrived in Tehran early on Sunday for talks on trade and economic cooperation.

He is accompanied by a 180-member delegation consisting of various cabinet ministers and a high-level business entourage. Zuma is scheduled to leave Tehran for the historic province of Isfahan on Monday.

Meantime, Iran and South Africa agreed to build petrochemical plants and oil refineries through joint ventures.

The agreement was reached during a meeting between Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and South African Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson in Tehran on Saturday.

During the meeting, the two sides also discussed oil and energy cooperation, including resumption of crude exports.

“Iran supplied 40% of South Africa’s oil imports before sanctions brought them to zero,” Zangeneh said, adding that “we are currently seeking to open this closed path and there are negotiations underway which we hope will bear result.”

Right now, the main argument is over the price. Iran has announced that it will accept a price which is competitive in the market,” Zangeneh said.

Pretoria is also considering building an oil refinery that will process Iranian crude to bolster its petrol supply and reduce its dependence on foreign companies.

“We have asked them to present their proposals. Accordingly, Iran has invited them to invest in Iran’s refining and petrochemical sector like before,” Zangeneh said about the plan.

South African petrochemicals group Sasol had a 50% stake in Arya Sasol Polymer company, a joint venture with Pars Petrochemical Company of Iran. The venture produced ethylene and polyethylene used in the production of plastics.

“Arya Sasol used to carry out successful investment operations in Iran’s petrochemical industry but had to pull out of them after sanctions,” Zangeneh said. Hmmm........China and Iran putting their roots in African soil.

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