Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe and Iran are working towards strengthening economic ties to bust sanctions imposed on Harare by the United States and the European Union.
Further, the two countries are eyeing cooperation in the agriculture and mining sectors, as Zimbabwe seeks to leverage the sectors for the attainment of a US$12 billion mining industry, and more importantly, Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income society.
This came out yesterday when Iranian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Abbas Navazani paid a courtesy call on Vice President Kembo Mohadi at his offices in Harare.
The two also discussed strengthening bilateral relations, particularly collaboration in the agriculture sector, in which Government wants to see an Iranian company establishing a tractor assembling plant in Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Navazani, who said he had a fruitful meeting with VP Mohadi also expressed Iran’s interest in exploring mining opportunities in Zimbabwe.
“We reviewed our cooperation,” he said.
“We have a cordial relationship which dates back to the days of the liberation struggle of Zimbabwe. We have a strong relationship in different aspects; politically, economically and internationally, and we are trying to expand our cooperation in economic and trade areas
“I have a different mechanism this time to enhance our relations. Our political and international relations are very close and high, but our economic (relationship) because of the imposition of oppressive sanctions by the Americans, is worsened.
“It’s (economic relationship) not expanding, but we are trying. We are trying and hopefully we will enhance our economic cooperation. We hope and appreciate the Zimbabwean Government’s support to Iran and we support Zimbabwe on the international arena.”
VP Mohadi said there were a number of areas where the two countries could benefit from each other.
He said the two countries had a joint commission and they discussed “quite a lot” in that respect with VP Mohadi.
“We discussed on our cooperation on the international fora and organisations such as the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and we also talked about our agriculture,” said VP Mohadi.
“At one time, we had tractors from Iran and we would want that to be established as well. We want to see those tractors assembled here.
“They (Iranians) are also interested in mining. So, we talked about mining and invited their private companies to come and explore. They are interested in investing in mining and we assured them that they will be able to repatriate 100 percent of their profits.”