Source: Africa Review
The Iranian government, currently facing fierce diplomatic hostility from western nations including sanctions, is set to open more embassies in the Horn of Africa region.
According to Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi who attended the Africa Union’s summit in Addis Ababa, his government will open four new embassies on the continent.
The new embassies will be in war-torn Somalia, Djibouti which hosts US and French military bases, and in Africa’s newest state, South Sudan.
The southwest Asian country will also open a new embassy in the West Africa nation of Cameroon.
Iran has been one of the more important actors in Somalia, which has been without a central government since 1991.
It has reportedly since 2008 been looking to secure a military base in the Red Sea state of Eritrea to counter Israel’s military might.
Both Tehran and Asmara denied the deal. However a number of Iranian engineers were last year sighted in the Eritrean port city of Assab.
Asmara said the Iranian presence in Assab was for maintenance work in its oil refinery inherited from Ethiopia during its 1991 independence.
Apart from the diplomatic representation, Iran also wants to strengthen its ties with African countries, Ali Akbar Salehi said.