UNGA 2016

Iran’s president in Cuba to meet Castros

Iran’s President Hassan Rowhani arrives at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana, Cuba Sept. 19, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Alexandre Meneghini)

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani arrived in Cuba Monday for a visit in which he was expected to meet counterpart Raul Castro and his older brother and predecessor Fidel.

Rowhani said ahead of the one-day visit that he wanted to stop in Cuba, a “friendly and revolutionary country,” on his way to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

The visit follows one in August by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said Iran sees this as “a very opportune moment” to reinforce its ties with the communist island.

Officials are due to sign a series of deals, expected to include one on energy. Cuba is keen for oil as its key supplier, Venezuela, has dramatically cut its once generous discount sales amid an economic crisis.

United mainly by their shared history of enmity with the United States, Iran and Cuba often back each other in the international arena.

Tehran has vocally condemned the US embargo on Cuba, and Havana has supported Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program.

The Castro regime’s resentment over the more than five-decade embargo, which remains in place, is still strong despite the renewal of diplomatic ties with Washington last year.
 

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Last Update: Tuesday, 20 September 2016 KSA 23:35 - GMT 20:35
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Iran’s president in Cuba to meet Castros
Iranian President Hassan Rowhani arrived in Cuba Monday for a visit in which he was expected to meet counterpart Raul Castro
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