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South Africa hopes to restore energy ties with Iran

Three years after international sanctions halted oil trade between the two countries.

South Africa hopes to restore energy ties with Iran, its energy minister said on Sunday, according to Iran’s Shana news agency, three years after international sanctions halted oil trade between the two countries.

“South Africa is aiming for a framework of cooperation with Iran regarding crude oil, LNG, LPG, gas and petrochemicals,” Tina Joemat-Pettersson was quoted as saying by Shana during a visit to Tehran.

“South Africa’s private sector can invest in various parts of Iran’s oil industry,” she added.

Mohsen Ghamsari, director of international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), said on Saturday that South Africa was hoping to import crude oil and other energy products from Iran, state news agency IRNA reported.

South Africa bought around 68,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from Iran in May 2012. Last September, Africa’s second-largest crude consumer expressed interest in resuming imports.

Iran’s exports of crude have fallen to around 1.1 million bpd, from a high of 2.5 million bpd in 2012, as Western sanctions have made it difficult to find buyers.

Iran is negotiating with world powers to lift sanctions in exchange for more stringent controls on its disputed nuclear programme.

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