AFP: Iranian Vice President Ali Saeedlu began an official visit to Cuba, following up on a trip to the communist-ruled island earlier this year by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. HAVANA (AFP)— Iranian Vice President Ali Saeedlu began an official visit to Cuba, following up on a trip to the communist-ruled island earlier this year by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Saeedlu, Ahmadinejad’s deputy for international affairs, on Monday met with Cuban Vice President Jose Ramon Machado, after which they stressed the “excellent state of bilateral ties,” an official statement said.
The Iranian official, the length of whose stay was not disclosed, related to his Cuban counterpart an invitation for President Raul Castro to attend the Non Aligned Movement summit in Tehran in August, the statement said.
The visit comes five months after Ahmadinejad’s trip to Havana to meet with the Cuban president and his brother, former leader Fidel Castro, who stood down from the leadership over health issues in 2006.
On that trip the two leaders signed statements affirming the “right of all nations to the peaceful use of nuclear energy.”
Cuba and Iran share similar positions in international organizations, with Tehran condemning the half-century US trade embargo against Cuba and Havana recognizing Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The United States and its allies have accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons in the guise of a peaceful enrichment program. Tehran denies the charge.