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Raeisi says Iran-Cuba ties 'strategic', need to expand

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi (R) meets with Cuba's visiting Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas in Tehran on May 18, 2022. (Photo by IRNA)

President Ebrahim Raeisi says Iran favors expanding its cooperation with Cuba through drawing on the "diverse capacities" that exist in each country.

The president described Iran and Cuba's ties as "strategic" in nature, saying those capacities have to be used towards expansion of the mutual cooperation "in the commercial, economic, agricultural, healthcare, and medical areas."

"Iran and Cuba's positive and constructive relations can be extrapolated to the area of the countries' international interaction too," Raeisi told Cuba's visiting Deputy Prime Minister Ricardo Cabrisas in Tehran Wednesday.

The Iranian president made special references to the countries' successful cooperation in the healthcare area.

In January 2021, Iran and Cuba signed an agreement to cooperate on a coronavirus vaccine project amid crippling sanctions imposed on the two countries by the administration of former United States President Donald Trump.

The cooperation led to the development of the Pastu Covac vaccine, which has been successfully used against several mutations of the highly infectious virus.

"By relying on their domestic potential, Iran and Cuba can reach self-sufficiency in various areas and production of strategic products," Raeisi said.

He touched on existing areas and potentials of cooperation with Latin American countries, saying "Iran intends to develop its relations with independent countries that resist the global arrogance's excessive demands, including Cuba."

The Cuban official, for his part, described mutual ties as "deep and strategic" in nature, underlining Havana's will to develop its economic and commercial relationship with Tehran.

He also called for the implementation of "medium-term and long-term" projects that would enhance mutual relations to the level of "multilateral relations across the Latin American region."

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