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Iran Says It Is Willing to Help Niger Overcome Sanctions

Map of Niger
Map of Niger

Iran said Wednesday it is willing to help coup-hit Niger overcome international sanctions as Tehran seeks to reduce its isolation by bolstering ties with African countries.

Iran's first vice-president, Mohammad Mokhber, said his country condemns "the cruel sanctions that are imposed by the domination system," in a meeting with Niger's Prime Minister Ali Mahaman Lamine Zeine.

"We will definitely share the experiences we have in this field with our brothers" from Niger, he added.

Iran has been slammed with heavy international sanctions since the Islamic revolution in 1979 but has found ways to circumvent some of them.

Tehran has also been under crippling U.S. sanctions since Washington's 2018 withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal that granted Iran sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear activities.

Niger is under heavy economic and financial sanctions from the Economic Community of West African States after a July 2023 military coup that overthrew elected President Mohamed Bazoum.

In the meeting, Mokhber praised "the success" of the former French colony in "having established an independent government" during this coup.

"Niger intends to breathe new life into cooperation, which was dormant, with the Islamic republic," Zeine said.

Both countries signed several agreements in various fields, including energy, health and finance.

In recent months, Iran has affirmed its support for leaders who seized power in a coup in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in September praised "the resistance of these African countries" in the face of "hegemonic European policies and colonialism."

Iran, similar to Russia and Turkey, is willing to strengthen its influence in Africa, where it has been bolstering ties in an effort to reduce its isolation and offset the impact of sanctions.

Raisi paid a visit in 2023 to Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Before Tehran, Zeine visited Moscow, which agreed to "intensify" its military cooperation with Niger's army, which is battling jihadist groups.