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EghtesadOnline: Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, who is on a three-nation Latin American tour, met high-ranking Cuban officials in Havana on Friday to discuss ways of expanding relations in various sectors.

Zarif held a meeting via videoconference with Cuba’s President Miguel Diaz-Canel who reiterated his country’s opposition to the United States’ sanctions and pressure against the Iranian nation, and underlined Iran’s right to use peaceful nuclear energy, Iran’s Foreign Ministry reported. 

The US reimposed tough sanctions on Iran two year ago after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, under which Iran had agreed to curb its nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions. 

Zarif appreciated Cuba’s support for Iran at the United Nations General Assembly and invited Diaz-Canel to visit Tehran on behalf of President Hassan Rouhani. 

Both sides highlighted friendly relations between the two nations and discussed the potentials for improving cooperation in economic and oil sectors. 

They also expressed readiness to collaborate on the production of vaccines, especially for combating the coronavirus contagion known as Covid-19. 

In talks with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, the two sides agreed to improve bilateral cooperation in political and economic spheres as well as in energy, nanotech and biotech sectors. 

Collaboration on Latin American and Middle Eastern issues was also highlighted by the two diplomats during the meeting. 

Cuba’s official newspaper Granma said on Friday that Rodriguez and Zarif would mark “the mutual solidarity between both nations, faced with the toughening of sanctions by the current US administration on countries that don’t bend to its will”.

The US government has also announced more than 130 measures to reinforce the embargo that Cuba has faced since 1962.

Zarif also held talks with Vice President of Cuba’s Council of Ministers Ricardo Cabrisas, during which they praised the two countries’ favorable political ties and coordinated stance in international assemblies. 

Over the course of the trip, the foreign minister also paid a visit to two medical research centers where he was briefed on their advancements in the production of various vaccines, including for Covid-19, as well as their cooperation with Pasteur Institute of Iran. 

Zarif had earlier visited Venezuela and was set to leave Cuba for Bolivia to participate in the inauguration of Bolivian President-elect Luis Arce on Nov. 8 in La Paz. 

The visit will mark the resumption of relations between the two countries, interrupted since the de facto government was installed in November 2019, after a coup d’état against then recently elected president, Evo Morales.

 

Iran cooperation Cuba Mohamad Javad Zarif