Harare (New Ziana)- Zimbabwe and Iran on Thursday inked several co-operation agreements as part of a one-day state visit by Iranian President Seyyed Raisi to the country.
Twelve agreements, covering a wide range of areas, were signed to boast co-operation between the two countries, both reeling under Western sanctions for decades.
President Raisi, who earlier also visited Kenya and Uganda, said Zimbabwe and Iran should build up co-operation, particularly in social and economic areas, to enable both nations to blunt Western sanctions.
He offered Iranian technology and investment in various areas, such as mining, manufacturing and health, domains the Middle Eastern country had powerfully developed indigenously in the face of sanctions.
“We stand ready to share our capabilities with our friends in Africa, especially in Zimbabwe. Our cooperation with Zimbabwe and our cooperation with the African continent, which is a continent full of potential, could help us for mutual advances,” President Raisi said.
Host President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe was equally keen to foster deeper co-operation with Iran, and would religiously follow up on signed agreements.
“Despite the fact that the visit has been brief, we have signed a record of 12 MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding). I have no doubt that on our side as Zimbabwe, we shall religiously follow up these MOUs for the benefit of the two Republics, and in particular, for us as Zimbabwe to tap into the technological advancement which your country has achieved,” he said.
“It is critically important that we, the victims of Western sanctions are talking to each other. The authors of these sanctions will not want us to talk to each other, but because we are both victims, it is critically important that we show them, that we are united. I am happy that we share this view with the Iranian President,” he added.
Most of the MOUs signed covered economic areas such as energy and power development, agriculture, manufacturing and trade. Social sectors included manpower development and specialist training.
“We look forward therefore to sharing experiences with Iran on innovative strategies, on propelling the sustainable growth of our economy and raising the standard of life of our people. I thus therefore commit Zimbabwe’s willingness to work closely with Iran,” President Mnangagwa said.
He invited Iranian companies to invest in any sector of Zimbabwe’s economy.
“We welcome investments in several sectors of our economy, especially in mining. We have vast opportunities in mining, in health, agriculture, energy, infrastructure development, science and technology,” he said.