New chapter of ties between Iran-LatAm

TEHRAN, Aug. 27 (MNA) – The Islamic Republic of Iran believes in a balanced approach to all countries and geographical regions and in addition to fostering ties with neighboring and Muslim countries, which has always been among the priorities of the country’s foreign policy, the reinforcement of all-out ties with Latin American has always been on the agenda of Tehran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also believes that reinforcement of relations with Latin American countries is among the Islamic Republic’s principled policies, stressing that no obstacle can hinder the expansion of mutual ties.

Due to political, cultural commonalities and congruity at international organizations and circles, particularly at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Latin American countries are vital for Iran and the Islamic Republic intends to establish balance and moderation in relations with Latin American nations.

The implementing the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) clinched between Iran and the six countries of the P5+1 over Tehran's nuclear program, has led to progress of Iran’s global situation, elimination of Western sanctions and reopening of economic development routes have driven the country’s foreign policy to boost mutual ties - evident in Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif periodic trips to Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

On Aug 21, Zarif, heading a group comprised of 120 merchants, businessmen and financial executives in government and private sectors embarked on a six-nation tour of Latin America including Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela respectively.

Whiteout doubt, the visits signify an opening of an era of mutual ties between Iran and Latin American countries that are mulling to expand commercial cooperation through the channel of private sector activists.

The visit is made following the President Rouhani repeated emphasis on reinforcement of ties with all members of the international community within framework of mutual respect, non-intervention in internal affairs, and securing mutual interests.

By the time of writing this article, Zarif has attended several meeting and held separate talks with several high-ranking Latin American officials including his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, President Raúl Castro , Vice President Ricardo Cabrisas Ruíz and his Nicaraguan counterpart Samuel Santos.

1st Iran-Cuba Trade Session

On Aug 22, Zarif addressed the first joint trade meeting of Iran and Cuba attended by Cuban and Iranian officials and businessmen, including the son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and Diaz.

Addressing the first joint trade meeting of Iran and Cuba, Zarif underscored that resistance by the nations of the two countries has forced the dominant powers to give up their hostile policies and even tone down their rhetoric, citing removal of sanctions as an unique opportunity for fostering bilateral all-out ties especially in field of economy.

Top Iranian diplomat also appealed for expansion of cooperation between the two countries' private sectors, voicing Tehran willingness to pave the way for Cuba's engagement in the Central Asian countries and help Havana promote its health programs and other projects in the region.

Iranian foreign minister also believes that promotion of economic cooperation between Iranian and Cuban companies can help realization of Resistance Economy in Iran and at the same time help rebuild the Cuban economy.

Enjoying over 19.1 million sq.km area and 634-million population, Latin America accounts for six percent of global trade and the region could be considered as reliable partner for the Islamic Republic of Iran thanks to its huge raw materials.

Call for Fostering Mutual Ties 

The Iranian and Cuban foreign minister reviewed latest regional and international developments as well as promotion of bilateral cooperation in all fields and examined the ways of developing mutual ties between Tehran and Havana.

Holding the upcoming summit of NAM was another topic of dialogue in the meeting between the two officials.

Joint Cooperation Document

On the sidelines of the first joint trade meeting, the Cuban and Iranian officials and businessmen, including Zarif and Diaz also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost mutual economic cooperation.

The MoU was signed by Iran Chamber of Commerce Deputy of International Affairs Farhad Sharif and his Cuban counterpart Odalys Seijo Garcia.

Iran an Important Economic Partner

Diaz believes that Islamic Republic is not only an important economic partner for Havana but also it has the capacity to help Cuba access Asian markets.

Iran and Cuba share the same experience of living under embargos and they should use the experience as a roadmap for exploring new ways for furthering economic cooperation, Diaz said, adding Iran as an economic partner can help Cuba achieve its goals and expand its economic outreach as far as the markets in Asia.

Zarif-Castro Meeting

Zarif and Cuban President Raúl Castro also conferred issues of mutual interest and discussed latest regional and international developments and explored ways of enhancing bilateral ties between Tehran and Havana.

Before meeting with Castro, Zarif had also a meeting with Ruíz and discussed promotion of economic cooperation between the two states.

Iran-Nicaragua Joint Economic Confab

On Aug 23, Zarif also attended Iran-Nicaragua economic conference attended by son of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega.

Zarif Meets Nicaraguan Counterpart

On Aug 24, Zarif held talks Santos on expansion of bilateral ties, especially in the economic field, regional developments and international issues.The meeting between Zarif and Santos took place at the venue of Nicaragua Foreign Ministry Palace.

In the end, it is worth mentioning that the Iran and a number of Latin American countries have numerous commonalities such as resistance against unfair sanctions.

Although Iran’s trade with Latin American countries diminished to its lowest level during 2011-2014, consequently, the current government is fully determined to reinforce its political and economic cooperation.

News Code 119277

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