Africa is Iran’s land of opportunities: minister

The Iranian minister of Industry and Mines stated that Africa is a land of opportunities for Iran and his ministry has no limitations in cooperating with African countries.

Ali-Akbar Mehrabian made the remarks in a in a meeting with his African counterparts on Wednesday attending the Iran-Africa Forum in Tehran.

The Mehr News Agency quoted Mehrabian as saying that fostering ties in industry and mines with the African continent which is made up of 54 countries, and has 900 million population, of which over 50 percent are Moslems and 30 countries are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), is of utmost importance for Iran.

Mehrabian underscored Iran's appreciation of the present opportunity to enhance relations and said that Africa can make use of Iran's latest technological advances and cooperate with Iran in the fields of geology, mines and agricultural industry.

Mehrabian called on the private sectors of the countries to increase their cooperation, and noted that soon there will be a gathering between the Iranian and African industry ministers.

He pointed out that despite having competent human resources, plenty of minerals and abundant natural resources the reason Africa is relatively not developed is centuries of pressure imposed on the continent by western colonizers which continues today in unjust policies and international regulations.

"In spite of the past and present pressure by western colonizers on Iran, today over 85,000 industrial units are operating in the Islamic Republic which can be considered to be a developed industrial country," he claimed.

The minister noted that Iran has cordial relations with its neighbors as well as other Asian countries, African countries and South American states carrying out numerous bilateral projects.

He said the Islamic Republic has made good progress in the field of automotive technology and agricultural machinery and can cooperate with other countries in various industries including cement, transportation, aluminum, foodstuff and textiles.

Representatives from governments and private sectors of over 40 African nations including the presidents of Senegal and Malawi are attending the two-day summit which focuses on expanding political and economic ties.

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