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Tanzania Mulls Opening Embassies in Iran, Pakistan

Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs said the move aims to explore business opportunities in the two nations.

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Dar es Salaam. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mbarouk Nassor Mbarouk said on September 8, 2023, that the government is assessing the possibility of opening embassies in Iran and Pakistan, saying the move intends to explore business opportunities available in those countries.

Ambassador Mbarouk was responding to a question from Bahi MP (Chama cha Mapinduzi – CCM) Kenneth Ernest Nollo, who wanted to know if the government is considering opening embassies in the two countries, which opened their embassies in Tanzania many years ago without reciprocation.

Iran and Pakistan have had their embassies operating in Tanzania for 56 and 40 years, respectively.

“The government is in the process of assessing the possibility of opening embassies in Iran and Pakistan,” Mr Mbarouk, a nominated MP, responded. “The assessment will involve looking at economic opportunities per our foreign affairs policy and productivity in public monies.”

He said the report regarding the assessment would be tabled to the respective authority once completed.

Ambassador Mbarouk explained that efforts have been made to start a joint trade committee with the two countries.

In the case of Iran, the committee has already been formed, and the draft for forming the respective committee with Pakistan has also been sent to the Pakistan embassy.

READ MORE: Pakistan to Invest US$1bn in Tanzania

In May 2023, a delegation of Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TanTrade), led by its Director General Latifa Khamis, visited Tehran to engage the Iranian counterparts, the Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Trade (ICCIMA) on key areas of cooperation in trade.

READ MORE: Tan-Trade Delegation in Iran to Boost Mining, Agricultural Cooperation

While trade between Tanzania and Iran is insignificant, Iran has the largest bilateral credit with Tanzania, about Sh1.48 trillion.

The credit stems back to the late 70s and early 80s when Tanzania struck a deal with Iran on the importation of oil on credit.

In battling sanctions and rebuilding Iran’s diplomacy arm, Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi has engaged different African countries.

In East Africa, Raisi has visited Kenya and Uganda, and during the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa, he was able to hold a meeting with the Tanzania president, Samia Suluhu Hassan.

READ MORE: BRICS 15th Summit: A New Geopolitical Landscape Emerging?

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