US think tank’s report on Iran influence in Africa
The FDD analyzed the achievements of the visit to three African countries, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Uganda, and wrote that the President of Iran completed the last stage of his three-day trip to sub-Saharan African countries with a stop in Zimbabwe on July 13. He tried to strengthen Tehran’s influence as well as improve its trade and economic participation in Africa during the trip, while trying to strengthen the anti-American alliance in that region.
According to the FDD report, Raisi finalized 12 agreements with his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on various topics ranging from energy to telecommunications in the third stage of the visit. The two presidents also called on countries facing Western sanctions to unite.
The report added that Raisi also visited Kenya and Uganda and held talks with their senior officials. The President of Iran met with President of Uganda Yoweri Museveni and appreciated his country’s new resolution against homosexuality. He described the homosexual orientation as one of the dirtiest issues in human history and evaluated it as an attack by the West against families and against the culture of countries.
President Raisi also met with President of Kenya William Ruto and promised to expand bilateral relations.
A trip with economic goals
The American think tank considered the most important axis of the trip to be the economic sphere and therefore, it highlighted the anti-Iranian approach of its experts. Toby Dershowitz, senior vice president for government relations and strategy at FDD, claimed in an analysis that Africa’s market and all markets in general should be careful about the big risks that exist in their trade with Iran because this country has been on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) blacklist for years.
According to this expert’s analysis, the FATF asked financial institutions to be careful in their trade relations and transactions with Iran, and for this reason, it will be a nightmare for businesses. This anti-Iran analyst also alleged that Iran may declare, there is no problem with doing business, but it would not be completely secure.
Another FDD analyst claimed that Raisi’s trip to sub-Saharan Africa is another sign of Tehran’s aggressive diplomacy against the West, which takes place in line with the Iranian president’s recent visit to Latin America and its West Asia policy; so, Iran gradually deepens its influence in these regions.
He implicitly considered the visit an attempt to circumvent sanctions and added that this trip attracted considerable media attention; however, the events that follow and how Tehran tries to implement political and economic agreements are important points in evaluating the implementation of anti-Iran sanctions and their effectiveness.