Iran's new President Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to boost political and economic relations with Latin American states, as a top priority for his country's foreign policy.
Raisi, who will be sworn into office today, made the pledge on Tuesday night during a meeting with the Executive Secretary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of our America (ALBA), Sacha Llorenti Soliz.
"Iran is determined to further strengthen its political and economic relations with the member states of the union, and this is in line with the common values and positions of the two sides," he said.
"Undoubtedly, activating the level of cooperation between Iran and Latin American countries can make the Americans and other arrogant people passive," he stressed.
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For his part, Soliz welcomed Raisi's imminent presidency on behalf of the ALBA and explained that "The goal of the ALBA union is to further enhance relations between the ALBA member states and the Islamic Republic of Iran."
He also added that the willingness to stand up against "excessive US demands" are values shared by both Iran and the ALBA.
Following his election victory in June, Raisi a hardline cleric and former judiciary chief will be succeeding moderate President Hassan Rouhani. According to Tehran Times, the inauguration ceremony will be attended by dignitaries from some 73 countries, including ten presidents, 20 parliament speakers, 11 foreign ministers, tens other ministers and envoys of heads of states and other officials.
Raisi, who is close with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been criticised by a number of human rights groups over accusations of his involvement in the executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988, being one of four judges presiding over the so-called "Death Committee" tribunals.