Oct 20, 2018, 2:34 PM
News Code: 83072158
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Mandela saw South Africa's revolution owing to Iran: Envoy

Algiers, Oct 20, IRNA – South Africa's late leader Nelson Mandela believed that the revolution in South Africa owed in a way its victory to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iran's ambassador to South Africa told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) during a recent interview.

'This could be clearly seen in his two visits he paid to Iran and the comments he made following the visits,' said Mohsen Movahhedi-Qomi.
After being released from the apartheid jails, Mandela said that the Islamic Revolution led by Imam Khomeini gave a lot of hope to the people of South Africa in fighting injustice, Movahhedi-Qomi said.

When receiving his honorary doctorate in political sciences from Tehran University in 1992, Mandela described Late Founder of the Islamic Revolution Imam Khomeini as one of their heroes on whom they relied in fighting apartheid, he added.

Mandela said history will never forget Islamic Revolution's role, the Iranian envoy stressed.

'The relations between Iran and South Africa have had many ups and downs in the past few decades,' Movahhedi-Qomi said.

'Before the Revolution, Iran was the gendarme of the strategic region of the Middle East on behalf of the West, and South Africa was West's surrogate in the fight against Communism and the former Soviet Union's influence,' he said.

'During the reign of the deposed Shah, though, the relations between Iran and South Africa didn’t grow more than consular ones.'

After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, the relations of the two countries changed due to a difference in ideology; Iran cut the ties, thanks to the South African government's racism.

Imam Khomeini ordered the cutting of the ties, said Movahhedi-Qomi.

Tehran and Pretoria's relations once again boosted after the apartheid regime fell in South Africa.

'Iran sent four diplomats in the framework of the United Nations observation on the country's elections in 1994. In the same year Iran and South Africa exchanged ambassadors,' he said.

'Iran's most important contribution to the dissident groups in South Africa was how to fight the oppression and how to find a way to people's hearts.'

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