South Africa to benefit from Iran sanction relief

South Africa is looking forward for the resumption of trade ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, after sanctions relief

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

South Africa is looking forward for the resumption of oil trade with Iran and various other imports. Once sanctions are lifted as promised, following completion of the long sought for nuclear deal on Tuesday between Tehran and six majors powers, the South African foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Iran was once the biggest oil supplier to South Africa, which is Africa's second-biggest crude consumer, importing around 380,000 barrels per day (bpd) in total.

"Of course if sanctions are lifted that's a win-win situation and South Africa will also benefit from that," Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said, in response to a question about resuming oil imports from Iran.

South Africa had never agreed with sanctions imposed against Iran and that its oil refiners had suffered from a ban on crude exports from the Middle Eastern country, according to Nkoana-Mashabane.

South Africa bought around 68,000 bpd from Iran in May 2012, a month before it halted crude purchases as Western countries pressured Tehran over its nuclear programme. That was well down from peak purchases in 2011.

The deal between Iran and six world powers including Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States is aimed at monitoring Iran's most sensitive nuclear work for over 12 years in exchange for immediate relief for the country from economic sanctions which have long crippled its economy. The United States, Russia, China, Britain and France, are all permanent veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council - while Germany and the EU were also parties to the deal agreed with Iran in Vienna.

The United Nations’ Security Council is planning to vote on a definite resolution concerning the long sought for Iranian nuclear deal which would end targeted sanctions but retains an arms embargo and ballistic missile technology ban, diplomats told the AP.

The UN Security Council resolution would terminate the Council’s seven previous resolutions on Iran, but under the Vienna deal this would leave a UN weapons embargo in place for five years and a ban on buying missile technology for eight years.

The United States will circulate the draft resolution to the 15-member Security Council on Wednesday, UN diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the deal sealed in Vienna after lengthy negotiations has opened the way to a new phase in international relations, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said it has opened a new chapter of hope.

However, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the world powers will be “extremely vigilant” in how Iran will handle or spend the financial gains resulting from the sanctions relief provided to it.

Iran has also accepted a so-called "snapback" plan that will restore the removed sanctions within 65 days if the country violates the nuclear deal, diplomats told Reuters on Tuesday.

TRTWorld and agencies