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Iran, Algeria Sign Several Documents to Expand Energy, Trade Ties

By Nigar Bayramli March 5, 2024

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The president of Algeria, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, received his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi on March 3, 2024, and the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in the presence of the two presidents. / MEHR News Agency

The Iranian and Algerian officials signed six cooperation documents in various fields, in the presence of the presidents of both countries.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Algiers on March 2 for a two-day visit, to participate in the 7th Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Summit, in the first official trip by an Iranian president to the North African country in 14 years.

In his address at the summit, Raisi raised the issue of technology transfer, saying that Iran is ready to become an energy hub and a secure conduit for gas distribution and transit between producers and markets worldwide.

After attending the joint meeting of high-ranking delegates, the officials signed six cooperation documents in the fields of oil and gas, science, technology and knowledge-based economy, sports, tourism and media on March 3, according to the official website of the Iranian president.

Raisi said at a joint press conference with his Algerian counterpart, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, that “Iran's large potentials in the economic sector are a suitable background for the development of bilateral cooperation in the fields of energy, technology, engineering, industries, petrochemicals and finance (with Algeria).”

Referring to the “remarkable progress” of Iran’s economy, Raisi voiced the country’s readiness to transfer experience in the fields of science and technology, energy and petrochemicals to Algeria.

He noted that the two countries have held talks about the formation of a joint financial fund to support knowledge-based activities while calling for more cooperation in this regard.

For his part, the Algerian president said that the two countries had agreed to boost trade, economic and political relations and to increase trade and financial exchanges.

Tebboune hailed Iran's progress in recent years despite extensive sanctions imposed on the country as he insisted that Algiers is keen to expand political, economic and technological relations with Tehran.

He lauded Iran's support for Algeria's non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for 2024-2025 and hailed Iranian solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

Moreover, Tebboune condemned Israeli continued attacks on the Gaza Strip and expressed concern about the “silence of certain countries towards such crimes”.

Iran currently holds the world’s second-largest natural gas reserves after Russia, estimated at 33,988 billion cubic meters, according to OPEC. Algeria holds 4,504 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves, placing it 10th on the world map.

Raisi’s visit comes as Iran is seeking to bolster relations across the African continent. Algerian officials have also repeatedly and publicly supported Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for civilian purposes.

Iran-Algeria relations have had a rocky history. Algeria severed diplomatic ties with Iran in 1993 after accusing Tehran of backing the Islamist opposition fighting the Algerian government at the time. The two countries restored relations in 2000, and since then, they have worked to deepen their ties in various fields.

In 2010, 11 memorandums of understanding were signed in different fields including agriculture, civil, trade, health, higher education and scientific research. In 2016, Algiers and Tehran inked 15 cooperation and partnership agreements in the automotive industry.

During a visit by Algerian Foreign Minister Ahmed Altaf to Tehran in July 2023, the two countries agreed to end the need for political visas and soon stop requiring visas for any travelers.

On the trade level, Iran exported $1.134 million worth of non-oil goods to Algeria between March and June 2023, marking a 109% increase compared to the same period the previous year. Meanwhile, Iranian exports to Algeria amounted to $67.4 million in 2021.