Ayatollah Khamenei: lndependent countries should get closer to one another

Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, met Sunday afternoon with Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa. President Rouhani was also present at the meeting. Speaking at the meeting, His Eminence stressed the necessity for Iran and South Africa to increase their economic and political cooperation, reiterating: “Independent countries should get as close as possible to one another and they should increase their cooperation despite the interferences of some arrogant powers.”
Referring to Iran’s decision to break off relations with the apartheid regime of South Africa after the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution said: “Almost simultaneously, the Islamic Republic broke off relations with both the Zionist and apartheid regimes.”

Ayatollah Khamenei pointed to the outstanding role of Nelson Mandela in overthrowing the apartheid regime and his long-standing and close relations with the Islamic Republic and added: “With Mandela’s and the South African nation’s continued struggle, that oppressive and anti-human regime was overthrown. With this course of action, Mandela gave fresh impetus to the struggle in the whole the African continent.”

His Eminence described the Islamic Republic’s outlook towards South Africa as a positive and constructive outlook, saying: “The relations between Iran and South Africa are very warm and the two countries’ cooperation with each other is very efficient and significant. However, economic and financial exchanges should increase in line with the capacities of both countries.”

He stated that the interaction of the two countries in the Non-Aligned Movement is another area of cooperation between Iran and South Africa: “This cooperation will be to the advantage of all non-aligned countries.”

The Leader of the Islamic Revolution stressed: “The interests of independent countries lie in an increase in the volume of their cooperation in different arenas. We should confront the obstacles that some powers create in the way of this cooperation.”

Thanking the Islamic Republic of Iran for its support of the people of South Africa in the face of the apartheid regime, President Zuma said: “The people of South Africa will never forget that support. Also, the purpose of Mandela’s trip to Iran was to thank Iran for that support in practice.”

The President of South Africa reiterated that his country has always been opposed to the west’s sanctions against Iran. He stressed: “There are many new areas for increasing the two countries’ cooperation with each another. We will try to have a new beginning in our economic and financial relations.”

Referring to the Leader’s statements about the necessity to increase cooperation between independent countries, Zuma said: “Some powers prevent the formation of relations between independent countries with some unreasonable excuses, but we can solve many problems with our unity and unanimity on global issues.”

The President of South Africa added that the effort to change the structure of the United Nations and the United Nations Security Council is another area for cooperation: “The countries that are the members of the United Nations Security Council are benefitting from the unsuitable structure of this council to harm other countries without paying attention to public opinion throughout the world and the bills passed by the United Nations General Assembly.”

Praising the broadminded viewpoints and resistance of the Leader and the people of Iran, he said: “The Islamic Republic has shown that with reliance on itself, it can solve its problems in the hostile environment of today’s world and that it can be an outstanding role model for everyone.”