Iran’s President Raisi Makes Historic Visit to Zimbabwe, Signs Major Agreements Amid Western Sanctions

Iran’s President Raisi Makes Historic Visit to Zimbabwe, Signs Major Agreements Amid Western Sanctions

…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.

Zimbabwe’s President Calls for Unity Against Western Sanctions

In a bid to address the challenges faced by nations targeted by Western sanctions, Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa hosted Iranian leader President Ebrahim Raisi on Thursday, July 13, 2023.

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Raisi’s visit marked the final leg of his Africa tour, which aimed to alleviate Iran’s international isolation.

The timing of his visit coincided with Zimbabwe’s upcoming presidential and parliamentary election on August 23, adding significance to his presence.

During a press briefing following their talks, President Mnangagwa emphasized the importance of unity among nations affected by Western sanctions, stating, “It is critically important that we, the victims of Western sanctions, are talking to each other… that we show them that we’re united.”

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President Mnangagwa expressed his gratitude for Raisi’s visit, hailing it as a gesture of solidarity.

Mnangagwa, who is seeking re-election amidst a challenging political climate, has long attributed Zimbabwe’s economic struggles to sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union.

Western nations argue that their measures target specific individuals involved in corruption and human rights abuses rather than the entire country.

The African continent has become a diplomatic battleground, with both Russia and the West seeking support in light of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, which has had severe economic repercussions for Africa, causing food prices to surge.

Western powers, along with India and China, have also aimed to strengthen trade ties with Africa.

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Raisi’s arrival at Robert Mugabe International Airport in Harare drew a large crowd of supporters waving Zimbabwean and Iranian flags, particularly from Zimbabwe’s Muslim community.

The two leaders signed a significant number of agreements, covering areas such as energy and telecommunications.

These agreements are expected to facilitate technology transfer from Iran to Zimbabwe, including plans for the establishment of a tractor factory to support agricultural mechanization.

Prior to his visit to Zimbabwe, Raisi had already conducted talks with Kenyan and Ugandan counterparts, William Ruto and Yoweri Museveni.

Describing Africa as a continent of immense potential, Raisi emphasized the importance of stronger cooperation for the mutual advancement of both parties.

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Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani views Raisi’s continental tour as a new turning point that can enhance economic and trade ties between Iran and African nations.

The visit also serves as a testament to Zimbabwe’s positive relations with other countries.

The meeting between President Mnangagwa and President Raisi aimed to foster unity among nations affected by Western sanctions and strengthen bilateral ties, while also providing a platform for Iran to expand its diplomatic presence in Africa.

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