Speaking at a meeting with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in the Azeri capital of Baku on Friday evening on the sidelines of the 18th Non-Aligned Movement Summit, Rouhani hailed Cuba as “a nation of struggle and resistance”.
“Cuba and Iran pay the price of their independence,” he said, adding “Our nation’s resistance is proverbial in the Middle East, and if it were not for your resistance, the US would have dominated not only Cuba but Latin America.”
“There is no doubt that the two countries will pass through this (difficult) stage through working together and that the arrogant powers have no choice in the face of our resistance but to surrender,” Rouhani noted.
Diaz-Canel, for his part, voinced Cuba’s willingness to promote bilateral relations with Iran and said Havana has always wanted warm and cordial relations with Tehran.
Rouhani’s remarks come against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.
Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.