Photo Credit: The Financial Tribune
The director general of the Arab and African Office of Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization, Farzad Piltan, announced on 27 April that, despite the sanctions imposed by the US, Iran’s exports to Africa had grown by 107 percent to $1.1 billion during the Iranian calendar year that ended on 20 March.
The Iranian official also said that in recent years “various efforts were made to expand exports to African countries by the private sector and government agencies, but the capacities of this vast market were not well used because the African continent was not a priority.”
Ghana is at the top of the list of Iran’s customers in Africa with $353 million worth of imports from Iran, followed by South Africa with $254 million, and Nigeria with $125 million, according to the Arab and African Office of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran.
“There is hope that with the priority that the new government gives to the development of trade relations with African countries and the better attention it shows to strengthening commercial infrastructure such as transportation, banking, standards, and customs, we will achieve an appropriate level of exports according to existing medium and long-term capacities,” Piltan explained.
Iranian authorities have said that the country is partnering with African countries to export its oil in defiance of US sanctions.
Iranian Oil Minister Javad Oji announced this month that the country’s crude oil production had reached pre-sanctions levels. He said Tehran is finding new customers and markets, using different methods in oil contracts.
On 15 March, the executive director of the National Iranian Oil Company, Mohsen Joyaste Mehr, said that the country’s economic growth is another sign of the failure of the “maximum pressure” campaign promoted by former president Trump to reduce Iranian crude oil sales and force the Persian nation to renegotiate the nuclear agreement.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Iran’s series of measures to achieve the goals of developing trade relations with African countries, comes at a time when, in recent weeks, energy prices in both the US and Europe have risen to their highest levels in a decade.
Meanwhile, Washington and its allies are discussing a ban on oil imports from Russia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil and petroleum products, as a response to Moscow’s military operation against Ukraine, launched on 24 February.