EghtesadOnline: Governor of the Central Bank of Iran and the speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa met on Monday in Tehran, with both officials calling for expanded ties between Tehran and Pretoria.
"Identifying obstacles to economic ties between the two countries and trying to alleviate them have been one of the main priorities of this trip," said Baleka Mbete, elaborating on her delegation's journey to Tehran.
The official, who is also a former deputy president of South Africa and assumed her current office from May 2014, stressed that she will do her utmost to strengthen and expand relations between the two countries, the official news website of CBI reported.
She pointed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal name of Iran's nuclear deal, as a good opportunity that has created the potential to revitalize economic and banking ties in the wake of sanctions relief.
CBI Governor Valiollah Seif also pointed to the history of good economic and banking relations between Iran and South Africa, stressing that there are currently no unsolvable problems in the way of expanding banking ties between the two countries, Financial Tribune reported.
Noting that reestablishing correspondent banking relations between the two countries' lenders would be a prerequisite to expand trade, he expressed hope that the pending banking agreement between CBI and the South African Reserve Bank (the country's central bank), which has been in the making for some time, would materialize when President Hassan Rouhani visits the country later this year.
According to Seif, setting up a joint account between the central banks of Iran and South Africa for facilitating trade transactions is one of the main proposals included in the agreement.
"Banking ties between our two nations can begin from low-risk areas so that we can gradually ramp up our cooperation in the future when the current doubts are cleared," he added.
Seif noted that some Iranian banks have established correspondent ties with their South African peers without any impediments.