Ramaphosa spoke to Hassan Rouhani over the phone just days after ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule’s statement. In the statement, Magashule said America committed “an aggressive act that could plunge the Middle East and the entire world into a full-scale war”.
The presidency says Ramaphosa spoke to the Iranian president on Thursday from Kimberley, where he attends the ANC’s 108th birthday celebrations and expressed his condolences to Soleimani’s death. He told Rouhani that South Africa’s position is that conflict should be resolved through dialogue rather than violence.
Ramaphosa has expressed concern that the US military action has led to increasing tensions in the Middle East and created conditions for retaliation.
Ramaphosa has called on both America and Iran to apply restraint and to act within international law. He also asked them to heed the United Nations Security Council (UN) resolutions and the UN Charter.
The charter calls on member states of the UN to refrain from using force against the territorial integrity and political independence of other countries.
South Africa is currently a non-permanent member of the Security Council and will also assume the chairmanship of the African Union (AU) next month.