Jan 12 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad meets Cuban President Raul Castro but a bomb attack that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist is not discussed during the meeting. Rough cut (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with ally Cuban President Raul Castro on Wednesday (January 11) amid heightened international tensions. He said nothing about the bomb attack that killed an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran earlier in the day, which his government blamed on Israel and the United States, the leaders of international opposition to Iran's nuclear program. Cuba was his third stop on a Latin American tour meant to show support from four leftist-led nations - Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador - as Iran is increasingly isolated by tightening Western economic sanctions. The four countries are united with Iran primarily in their antipathy toward the United States, and political and economic ties with the Islamic Republic have expanded in recent years. They also have endorsed Iran's right to develop nuclear energy. Iran has granted several hundred million dollars in credits to Cuba, which the island has used primarily to get new Iranian-made train cars for its deteriorating rail system. Trade between the two countries totaled $27 million in 2009, down from $46 million the previous year, according to the latest Cuban government figures available. Ahmadinejad was to leave early Thursday morning en route to Ecuador, the final stop of his trip.