Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi returned to Tehran from his Africa tour on July 14, 2023.

Raisi Says Iran To Barter Petrochemicals For Food With Africa

Friday, 07/14/2023

Iran will barter petrochemical products with African countries in exchange for food, President Ebrahim Raisi was quoted as saying after a tour of three countries.

Raisi, who visited Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda this week returned to Tehran on Friday and said the first aim of his African tour was to expand “Iran’s strategic depth” on the continent.

Isolated by US and European sanctions, the Islamic Republic has few options to develop economic relations to relieve economic pressure, which has led to very high inflation estimated to range from 70-100 percent. Raisi himself faces sanctions and cannot travel to Western countries.

The official government news website IRNA quoted Raisi as saying that securing “raw materials” and food was the second goal of his trip. He maintained that there is good opportunity for agriculture in Africa and Iran could trade petrochemical products and receive much needed food staples.

All three countries the Iranian president visited are grappling with numerous economic and social crises. Neither Iran nor these African countries have much to offer to each other in trade. However, Raisi said that the Islamic Republic has common ground with the three African countries in opposing “unilateralism”, a reference to Western diplomatic and economic power.

Upon his return to Tehran the president claimed that because of the Islamic revolution Iran has succeeded in establishing wide-ranging ties with many countries around the world. In fact, Iran enjoyed a respected status before the revolution and its citizens had the opportunity of visa-free travel to most countries in the 1970s.

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