12 Things You Didn’t Know About South Africa-Iran Relations

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Written by Dana Sanchez
Afro-Iranians. Photo: Behnaz Mirzai/middleeasteye.net

Before the revolution, the Shah supported the apartheid government

During the reign of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from 1941 to 1979, Iran had few African interests other than Anwar Sadat’s Egypt, Haile Selassie’s Ethiopia and the South African apartheid regime. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Republic in 1979 resulted in an overhaul of Iranian foreign policy, changing its focus from the West to the developing world. Even then, Africa was never a top priority. After the shah, Tehran abandoned ties with the South African apartheid regime in favor of the African National Congress, a move that was remembered and appreciated once the ANC took over in 1994.

Source: National Interest.