During a trip to Havanna on Thursday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed to confront the U.S. and its "aggressive imperial policy" with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and former Cuban dictator Raúl Castro.
Cuba was the last stop for Raisi on his first Latin American tour where he also visited Venezuela and Nicaragua.
While in Havanna, Raisi told Díaz-Canel that both countries have common interests which include the "struggle for independence and preserving their revolutionary positions."
"Iran is willing to cooperate with all countries, but if a country acts against the interests of our nation, we stand up to it," Raisi added.
With Tehran facing heavy sanctions from the U.S., Raisi said that to Iran, close relations with independent countries are one of the. "effective ways to deal with sanctions."
Raisi further explained that Washington and the "hegemonic powers" cannot do anything against independent nations.
"Our cooperation on the road to progress can create hope in independent nations and despair in hegemonic powers," Raisi added.
Meanwhile, Díaz-Canel claimed it was an "honor" and "great satisfaction" to meet with the Iranian president in Havanna and described him as a "dear friend."
"You have visited three Latin American countries that have a significant relationship with Iran's Revolution, Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba," Díaz-Canel said.
"These nations, together with Iran, have had to heroically confront, with tenacious resistance, the sanctions, pressures, threats, blockades dn interference of Yankee imperialism and its allies," he said.
"This visit reinforced our conviction that we have in Iran a friendly nation in the Middle East, with which to confide and talked about the most complex global issues," Díaz-Canel concluded.
"The conditions and circumstances in which Cuba and Iran find themselves today have many things in common," Raisi said in response. "Every day our relations grow stronger."
Raisi also met with the late dictator Fidel Castro's brother, 91-year-old Raúl, who has been forced out of retirement to serve as a lawmaker for a struggling communist regime. Castro thanked Raisi for his country's support in Cuba's fight against the U.S. "embargo" and noted that the "cordial" visit confirmed the willingness of Havanna and Tehran to continue to strengthen their diplomatic ties. Both Iran and Cuba are listed by Washington as state sponsors of terrorism.
During his visit, Raisi signed 6 cooperation agreements with the communist Cuban regime. The agreements are in the areas of customs cooperation, judicial cooperation, political cooperation, and information technology. Both sides also agreed to strengthen their economic ties.
The cooperation agreements with the Islamic Republic come after more than 60 years of communist rule have brought Cuba to the brink of collapse and the country is now seeking the assistance of its global allies to overcome a variety of communist-created problems that the Castro regime has been unable to resolve.
Meanwhile, Cuba's Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz visited Russia this week where he met with President Vladimir Putin and returned to Havanna with an agreement that Russia will supply Cuba with 1.64 tonnes of oil and oil products annually to supplement the country's severe fuel shortages.
Cuba is also in advanced negotiations with China to open a joint military training facility in the northern part of the island as China seeks to expand its intelligence and military foothold and infrastructure in the West.
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