Iran’s Defence Minister, Mohammad-Reza Gharaei Ashtiani, has expressed Tehran’s readiness to enhance friendly relations with African states, particularly Zimbabwe, which he described as “independent and revolutionary.”

Local media reported that he made these remarks during a meeting with visiting Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga in Tehran.

Ashtiani highlighted Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s visit to Harare in July 2023 and an upcoming trip by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to Tehran, noting the significance both nations place on enhancing bilateral relations.


He emphasized that since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, Africa has held a special position in the country’s foreign policy.

During the talks, the Iranian defence minister criticized the West for its “double standard” approach in combating terrorism and its silence on Israel’s actions against Palestinians, particularly in Gaza.

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In response, the Zimbabwean vice president condemned Israel’s attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria, in early April, which resulted in the deaths of seven Iranians, including two veteran commanders.

Chiwenga pointed out that both Zimbabwe and Iran face sanctions from Western countries and emphasized that Iran was among the partners with which Harare was ready to expand its defense cooperation and economic relations.