US vs Iran war would threaten SA's fragile economy: Naledi Pandor

Naledi Pandor
Naledi Pandor
Image: Veli Nhlapo

A war between the US and Iran would be a threat to SA's fragile economy.

That's according to international relations minister Naledi Pandor, who said SA seeks to be part of mediating the conflict between the countries.

She said the conflict risks affecting the entire globe.

“Once you have petrol prices go through the roof, once you see oil prices rise as we’ve seen in the last few days, it’s a threat to our fragile economy,” she told SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on the sidelines of an ANC event in Kimberley on Thursday.

Her remarks came after US president Donald Trump announced that America would back away from further military conflict with Iran, which launched missile attacks on two Iraqi bases hosting US and coalition troops.

The attacks by Iran came after the US killed it’s most senior military leader, Gen Qassem Soleimani.

The price of oil spiked at more than $70 (about R988) a barrel this week as tensions escalated. 

Pandor said as a member of the UN Security Council, SA would call for restraint and dialogue between the countries.

“We view all of these developments with dismay,” she said.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told the media on Thursday morning in Kimberley that he would soon make known his views on the situation in Iran. 

Meanwhile in Africa, Pandor said the situation in Libya was deeply concerning.

She said Ramaphosa personally called Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, urging restraint after he sent Turkish troops to the North African country.

Pandor said she spoke to Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in an effort to discourage their intervention in Libya.

Subsequent to that, Erdogan and Russian president Vladimir Putin, who are supporting warring sides in Libya, have called for a ceasefire there.

Pandor said there was a sitting next week of the African Union’s (AU) peace and security council, where the situation in Libya was high on the agenda.

She said SA believed all sides of the conflict should be engaged.

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