In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Iran visit to Zimbabwe cements ties

Posted by seumasach on April 24, 2010

Morning Star

23rd April, 2010

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Zimbabwe to sign a raft of trade and co-operation agreements and bolster ties in the face of “the West’s neocolonial agenda.”

Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe welcomed Mr Ahmadinejad at Harare airport before accompanying him on a tour of an Iranian-funded textile firm in Harare and a tractor assembly plant.

The two men then signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to establish a joint investment company to help stimulate industrial development and the energy sector in their countries.

Mr Ahmadinejad is scheduled to open Zimbabwe’s main trade fair in Bulawayo on Friday.

Iran is the biggest exhibitor at the exposition and the Iranian premier is the first leader from outside the African continent to open it since Zimbabwe won its independence from British colonial era rule in 1980.

Zimbabwe enjoys good relations with Iran and has boosted economic links with Tehran since some Western countries slapped sanctions on Harare for implementing a controversial land reform and allegedly rigging polls in 2002.

Zimbabwean state media hailed Mr Ahmadinejad’s visit as part of a drive to strengthen ties between countries demonised by Britain and the US “for daring to defend the interests of the citizens and scuttling the West’s bid to plunder the resources of our two nations.

“The West’s neocolonial agenda should only make us stronger,” the official Herald newspaper opined.

But Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party called the visit a “colossal political scandal.”

“Inviting the Iranian strongman to an investment forum is like inviting a mosquito to cure malaria,” it said.

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