Iran’s foreign minister has arrived in Havana for talks with his Cuban counterpart, in a visit aimed at reinforcing their countries’ mutual support in the face of punishing United States sanctions.
Cuba’s official newspaper Granma said on Friday Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and Iran’s Mohammad Javad 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”.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump’s administration pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers three years earlier and reimposed crippling sanctions as part of Washington’s “maximum pressure” campaign to choke off Tehran’s ability to export its oil.
The US government, meanwhile, has also announced more than 130 measures to reinforce the embargo Cuba has faced since 1962.
“Cuba will support the peaceful use of nuclear energy and technology to contribute to socio-economic development, and will condemn the decision of the United States government to unilaterally withdraw from … the Nuclear Agreement with Iran,” added Granma.
It said the US decision “violates the rules of coexistence between states, and could provoke serious consequences for stability and security in the Middle East”.
Zarif’s visit to Cuba comes two days after he visited Venezuela, another regional ally subject to US sanctions.
Lectured today at the Samuel Robinson Institute on US/ Western terror tactics in attempts to halt the course of history toward a post-Western world. pic.twitter.com/OhNim8HR83
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 5, 2020
Granma said Zarif and Rodriguez “will talk about possible commercial links and cooperation” with Cuba’s Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas.
The US embassy in Havana responded to Zarif’s visit with a tweet from Washington’s top diplomat in Latin America, Michael Kozak.
“Iran’s Zarif and the Castro regime have a lot in common: human rights abuses, authoritarianism, stealing Venezuela’s wealth, and the propagation of their malign influence throughout the world. Their relationships underscore their lack of legitimacy,” said Kozak.
Granma said Zarif would end his visit to the region by attending the inauguration of Bolivia’s president-elect Luis Arce on Sunday.