Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel (R) and Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi witness the signing of bilateral accords at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on 15 June 2023. EFE/ Ernesto Mastrascusa

Cuba, Iran boost ties with new accords

Havana, Jun 15 (EFE).- Cuban and Iranian officials signed six accords here Thursday as Presidents Miguel Diaz-Canel and Ebrahim Raisi looked on.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla (R) and Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian sign bilateral accords as Presidents Miguel Diaz-Canel (R) and Ebrahim Raisi look on during a ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on 15 June 2023. EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa

The Iranian leader arrived late Wednesday in Havana, the last stop on a Latin American tour that previously took him to Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Raisi participated in a business forum in the Cuban capital before coming to the Palace of the Revolution for talks with Diaz-Canel and to witness the signing of agreements on cooperation in foreign policy, telecommunications and information technology, customs administration, and justice.

The Cuban president said that the two nations were united in being “condemned” to confront the United States, which has maintained an economic embargo against Cuba for nearly 63 years and sanctions on Iran for more than four decades.

Iran and Cuba should “exploit potentialities” by expanding their commercial and economic ties, Diaz-Canel said.

Raisi, accompanied on his tour by several Cabinet ministers, described Iran’s relations with Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua as “strategic” and referred to the four countries’ shared “opposition to the hegemonic and unilateral system” of the US.

In Venezuela, the Iranian delegation concluded more than a score of agreements to collaborate in petrochemicals, transportation, and mining, among other sectors.

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdolahian, visited Managua, Caracas, and Havana in February to late the groundwork for Raisi’s mission.

Raisi’s predecessor, Hassan Rouhani, came to Cuba in September 2016 and signed accords with then-President Raul Castro.

The Iranian leader was one of the last foreign dignitaries to meet with Raul’s older brother, Fidel, who died in November 2016. EFE