Iran pledges to support Mugabe http://www.eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=11000
Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami said his country would stand by Zimbabwe, which is battling international isolation over President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Mugabe’s government is cultivating relations with Asian and Muslim countries under a ‘look east’ policy.
The aim is to revive an economy in recession for the last 5 years and ease sanctions imposed by Western powers over accusations of vote-rigging and human rights abuses.
Khatami arrived in Zimbabwe yesterday for a three-day visit, and today held meetings with local business executives and top government officials to discuss trade and business deals ahead of talks with Mugabe on Wednesday.
Khatami told Mugabe at a state banquet on Monday night that Iran, accused by the United States of sponsoring terrorism and being part of an "axis of evil," would stand by Zimbabwe through its own problems with the West, Zimbabwe state media reported.
"I share your historical suffering and grief ... on our part we stay next to you and shall stay longer," Khatami said.
Zimbabwean officials said on Tuesday Khatami had pledged at several meetings to help Zimbabwe lift an economy which Mugabe charges has been sabotaged by Western and domestic opponents seeking to overthrow him.
"President Khatami has pledged that the Republic of Iran is going to help us in a number of areas.