HAVANA – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif began his first Latin American visit on Monday in Havana, where he met with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez in an effort to improve bilateral economic relations.
Zarif seeks to start a new chapter in Iran’s relations with Cuba on his one-day visit, before continuing his tour with stops in Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela.
During the meeting with his Cuban counterpart, Zarif stressed how both nations have been able to show resistance to U.S. influence while maintaining ideologies different from Washington’s.
The foreign minister said Iran and Cuba, which supported each other over the years, have now surpassed that period and are engaged in a rapprochement with the United States.
In December 2014, Havana and Washington announced their intention to re-establish diplomatic relations.
In 2015, Iran and the G5+1 countries, led by the United States, reached a historic agreement to lift Western sanctions on Iran to curb the expansion of its nuclear program.
Regarding the nuclear agreement, Rodriguez reiterated Cuba’s support for Iran and its right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
“Your visit expresses the high level of our bilateral relations,” the Cuban foreign minister said.
On his Latin American tour, the Iranian foreign minister is being accompanied by 120 businessmen seeking investment and cooperation opportunities to boost several Iranian industries, especially the oil industry, which was damaged by international sanctions for decades.