Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed the need for the promotion of all-out relations between the Islamic Republic and Cuba, particularly trade ties, following a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Rouhani arrived in Havana on Monday September 19, 2016 and was officially welcomed by President Raul Castro at Havana's Palace of the Revolution.
"The goal of some powerful countries to resort to pressure and sanctions against independent states is to maintain their monopoly over cutting-edge and important technologies," President Rouhani said in a meeting with his Cuban counterpart Raul Castro in Havana on Monday.
"We are delighted that, with the resistance of the Iranian nation, the way was paved for developing countries" to gain access to new technologies, the president said.
He underlined the need for cooperation among independent states in the field of science and technology, noting that Tehran and Havana must uplift the level of their technological cooperation, namely in the areas of nano- and biotechnology.
He called on the Iran-Cuba economic commission to follow up on the previously-singed bilateral agreements to deepen mutual economic relations.
"Cuba has always been a close friend of Iran in international organizations, and this friendship and unity between the two countries, which serve the interests of both nations, should continue on international and regional matters," Rouhani said.
Rouhani further said that Iran and Cuba share common viewpoints concerning regional and international issues.
Castro, for his part, said he was glad that President Rouhani was visiting Cuba, stating that the Latin American country "will proudly be a steady partner of Iran" and that "nobody can stop the advancement of Cuba-Iran relations."
He further underlined the need for the promotion of Cuba-Iran relations in all areas.
President Rouhani meets Fidel Castro
President Rouhani also met with the president's older brother and predecessor Fidel. According to the Communist Party newspaper Granma, they discussed importance of food production in a world "threatened by climate change, the incessant growth of the global population, and the dangers to the preservation of peace." "Fidel and Rouhani concluded the friendly meeting with the most sincere desires for collaboration between the peoples of Iran and Cuba," the paper wrote.
After his one-day stay in Cuba, the Iranian president will travel to New York, the United States, to deliver a speech at the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.
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