The President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisisigned this Monday in Caracas various agreements with his counterpart from Venezuela, Nicolas Maduroin order to strengthen cooperation against “common enemies”, according to what he said, among these two countries sanctioned by the United States.
“The relationship between Iran and Venezuela is not a normal diplomatic relationship, but a strategic relationship between two countries that have common interests, common visions, and common enemies,” Raisi said in a statement with Maduro, in which he estimated USD 3 billion. bilateral trade annually and assured that the goal is to take it, in principle, to USD 10,000 million.
“We are friends in difficult times”, he added according to a translator at the Miraflores presidential palace in downtown Caracas.
The Iranian president, who did not expressly mention the United States, began his first visit to Latin America in Venezuela, which will also take him to Cuba and Nicaraguaall countries that it considers “friends”.
“Iran is playing a star role as one of the most important emerging powers in the new world,” Maduro said. “Together we will be invincible!” cried the socialist leader with an image in the background of the flags of Venezuela and Iran merging into one.
Maduro did mention the United States and, in particular, criticized former President Donald Trump for a recent speech by him at a campaign event.
“When I left (from power), Venezuela was about to collapse. We would have seized it and we would have gotten all that oil,” Trump said. “A confession of part, relief of evidence,” Maduro reacted.
Raisi and Maduro signed 25 agreements in multiple areas: petrochemicals, mining, health, educationamong others, without divulging further details about these agreements.
“In the last two years our cooperation with these countries has developed,” Raisi, elected in 2021, said in Tehran, before beginning his five-day tour of Latin America. “This trip can be a turning point.”
Iran is one of Maduro’s main international alliesBoth countries -members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)- are the object of US financial sanctions that seek to hit their economy.
In 2020, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic, Iran sent 1.5 million barrels of gasoline and supplies to try to reactivate Venezuela’s refineries amid a severe fuel shortage.
Maduro received the head of Iranian diplomacy, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in Caracas in February, and visited Tehran in June 2022 to sign a 20-year cooperation agreement to strengthen their “alliance.”
The last visit of an Iranian president to Cuba and Venezuela dates back to 2016, when Hasan Rohani was there before taking part in the UN General Assembly in New York. His predecessor, Mahmud Ahmadinejad, was received in Nicaragua in January 2007.
Daniel Ortega, the Nicaraguan president, defended Iran’s right to acquire nuclear weapons in February.
With information from AFP
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