Mohammad Javad Zarif,Bruno Rodriguez

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, left, talks to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, right, in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. Iran’s foreign minister begun a Latin American tour in Cuba, declaring Iran and Cuba united by their histories of resisting what he called U.S. atrocities. Zarif also plans to visit Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

HAVANA, August 24th  Cuba says US sanctions on the Latin American country and Iran have opened a common ground for the two countries to forge special trade ties.
On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was in Havana where he met Cuban leaders, including President Raul Castro in what they described a new chapter in bilateral ties, PressTV reported.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Malmierca Diaz described Iran an “important partner” with a capacity to help his country enter Asian markets.

Diaz said despite President Barack Obama’s historic three-day visit to the island in March, the US maintains its sanctions on Cuba and his country has no choice but to implement short-term projects to achieve development.

“Both Cuba and Iran have reached a roadmap after years of sanctions which they should use to explore new economic opportunities and take advantage of each other’s capabilities,” he said.

A large economic delegation is accompanying Zarif on his six-day Latin America tour which also includes trips to Chile, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Venezuela aimed at boosting trade after the removal in January of US-led sanctions against Iran.

The first Iran-Cuba economic forum opened in Havana on Monday, with Diaz telling Iranian companies that they could become the engine of economic growth and dynamism in his country.

Iran and Cuba have long been close friends. Last week, Cuban Economy Minister Ricardo Cabrisas visited Tehran and met top Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani.