South Africa and Iran in the Apartheid Era

South Africa and Iran in the Apartheid Era

Author: 
Chehabi, H. E.
Publisher: 
Taylor & Francis Group
Date published: 
2016
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
Journal of Southern African Studies (JSAS)
Source: 
Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 42, No. 4, August 2016, pp. 687-709
Abstract: 

This article analyses the multifaceted relations between apartheid-era South Africa and Iran. In 1942, the exile of Iran's ex-Shah in Johannesburg put South Africa on the map of Iran's rulers. In the 1970s, close economic and military ties were established between the two states, based on economic complementarities and shared concern with the threat of communism and Soviet penetration into the Indian Ocean. By 1978, Iran provided over 90 per cent of South Africa's oil. These ties did not prevent the Iranians from denouncing apartheid or bending its rules when in South Africa. The Islamic revolution of 1979 caused a break in formal relations. It affected South Africa in two ways: oil imports were disrupted, and it contributed to the growing militancy of South African Muslims in the anti-apartheid struggle. Iran then made financial contributions to the ANC, resulting in a friendly resumption of ties after the end of apartheid. The article uses extensive interviews with South African and Iranian diplomats who served in both countries.

Language: 
Country focus: 

CITATION: Chehabi, H. E.. South Africa and Iran in the Apartheid Era . : Taylor & Francis Group , 2016. Journal of Southern African Studies, Vol. 42, No. 4, August 2016, pp. 687-709 - Available at: http://library.au.int/south-africa-and-iran-apartheid-era-0