Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Pretoria on Tuesday night to meet the African country’s officials and talk about expansion of relations in diverse fields.
Zarif, who is heading a political and economic delegation, is scheduled to meet South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterpart Lindiwe Sisulu.
He is to discuss the Iran nuclear agreement following the US withdrawal from the 2015 deal.
During the visit, the Iranian delegation will also hold talks with South African economic officials.
In October 2017, Zarif visited the African country to participate in the 13th Joint Commission of Iran and South Africa.
South Africa and Iran enjoy close diplomatic relations based on shared values.
In April 2016, former South African president Jacob Zuma visited Iran to strengthen political, trade and investment ties.
The two countries signed several agreements on cooperation in areas including trade, industries, investments, agriculture, water resources and oil industry research and development.
Zuma’s visit was the second South African state visit to Iran, the first having been undertaken by late president Nelson Mandela in 1999.
The Islamic Republic severed ties with South Africa in 1979 and banned doing any business with the African country in protest against its apartheid policies. However, in January 1994, Tehran and Pretoria reestablished their diplomatic relations.
Expansion of relations with African nations in all political, economic and cultural fields is top on the agenda of Iran’s foreign policy.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has repeatedly stressed his government’s interest in boosting relations with African states.