Iranian President Raisi boosts Nicaragua ties of tour of US-sanctioned countries

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Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi pledged to deepen ties between Managua and Tehran on a visit to Nicaragua Wednesday as part of a tour of Latin American countries under US sanctions.

The Iranian leader, whose country is also sanctioned by the United States, kicked off his trip in Venezuela earlier this week before flying to Nicaragua. He is also due to visit Cuba.

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“We are willing to share our capabilities and our experiences with the brotherly and friendly country of Nicaragua,” Raisi said in a speech before deputies in the National Assembly, according to an official translation.

“There is a great geographical distance between Nicaragua and Iran and the Latin American region, but our hearts are very close and our goals are also very close,” he said.

Raisi added that Iran and the Central American country “share a common history of struggle, of resistance, of revolutions, of combat against a common enemy.”

In Venezuela, Raisi and Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro announced that they signed 25 accords, across sectors ranging from education and health to mining.

Deepening trade and exchange was also on the agenda in Nicaragua.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega said he and Raisi signed a “basic memorandum of these steps that we are going to continue developing” to increase exchange between the two countries, including a binational commission to promote economic, commercial and scientific-technical cooperation.

Ortega has said Tehran has a right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and in February questioned the moral authority of Western powers to ban Iran from having nuclear weapons.

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