Flag of Libya, 1951-2011 (Available at Wikimedia Commons)

May 09, 2010

Libya-Iran Foreign Relations

Flag of Libya (Available at Wikimedia Commons)


Reaction to June 2009 Iranian Presidential Election:

On August 13, 2009, Libya’s leader, Muammar Qadhafi sent a message of congratulations to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following the Iranian leader’s inauguration. Qadhafi also wished both progress and success for Iran.[1]



In early 2008, Libya chaired the United Nations Security Council amidst debate over the adoption of a third binding sanctions resolution regarding Iran’s nuclear program. A Libyan representative vowed “constructive” cooperation from Libya but expressed that it remained “uncomfortable” about the prospect of additional sanctions.[2]

Economic Relationship:

In 2007, Iran and Libya signed cooperation agreements in economic and cultural fields.[3] Their economic cooperation has not been limited to bilateral ties. Also in 2007, Iran and Libya established joint investment funds to prospect opportunities throughout Africa as well as Latin America.[4] In January 2010, Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki visited Tripoli to discuss a “new chapter” in Iran-Libya economic relations.[5] Discussions between Mottaki and his Libyan counterpart Musa Kusa also introduced the prospect of developing joint oil and gas projects and developing infrastructure like factories, roads, and hospitals.[6]

Diplomatic/Military Relationship:

In June 2009, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad abruptly canceled a planned visit to an African Union summit in Libya; Iran gave no explanation for the cancelation.[7] In January 2010, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his counterpart Musa Kusa to discuss regional developments, the unity of Muslim nations, and bilateral political and economic cooperation.[8]


[1“Libyan Leader Congratulates Ahmadinejad,” Mehr News Agency, August 16, 2009
[2“Libya Hesitant On New Iran Sanctions At U.N.,” Reuters, January 3, 2008.
[3“Iran And Libya Sign 10 Cooperation Agreements,” ISNA, December 29, 2007.
[4“Iran, Libya To Set Up Investment Fund,” Press TV, June 21, 2007.
[5“Mottaki: Iran, Libya Share Common Views on Main Regional Issues,” IRIB, January 15, 2010, http://english.irib.ir/index.php/news/political/29848-mottaki-iran-libya-share-common-views-on-main-regional-issues- (January 17, 2010)
[6“Iran, Libya Discuss Oil and Gas Projects,” Press TV, January 16, 2010, http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116245&sectionid=351020103 (January 17, 2010)
[7“Lamloum, Imed, “Au Summit Tackles Divisions Over “African Government,” Agence-France Press, June 30, 2009, http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hT8WLoTypuipuyxZ68oSs8wCxbKg (July 4, 2009)
[8“Iran FM Arrives in Libya for Talks,” Press TV, January 14, 2010, http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=116159&sectionid=351020101 (January 17, 2010)
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