Caracas to boost 'strategic ties' with Iran: Venezuelan FM

TEHRAN – Jorge Arreaza, the foreign minister of Venezuela, has said that his country is going to boost the strategic relations between Iran and Venezuela.

In an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the chief Venezuelan diplomat said that Tehran and Caracas have laid the groundwork for developing and expanding bilateral ties. He added that he is planning to hold a joint bilateral meeting between all ministers of Iran and Venezuela.

“Considering the dimensions of the two countries’ development, Iran and Venezuela are two powers that, despite this geographical distance, have more in common than can be imagined,” Arreaza stated.

Referring to Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent tour to Venezuela and also the export of Iranian oil to Venezuela, the top Venezuelan diplomat said despite U.S. cruel sanctions and the limitations caused by COVID-19 in the world, exchange of political delegations, trade interactions, and strategic cooperation between two countries have not been affected.

Arreaza added that Iran and Venezuela have common goals and common enemies. Both nations are proud of their anti-imperialism revolution and are now under sanctions and blockade, he said, adding that the two countries decided to be free.

Arreaza hailed Iran’s efforts to help Venezuelan people through investment, saying it is believed that Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro and President underline focusing on some specific strategic fields which are affected by U.S. sanctions.

Referring to Zarif’s recent visit to Venezuela, he said during the meetings both sides discussed bilateral relations and also various projects with Iran in the energy sector.

“I believe that Iran and Venezuela have become a clear example of how we can unite despite all the problems and aggression, and this is what has led to the development of our bilateral relations in recent years and will grow much more,” Arreaza pointed out. “Iran’s move to send ships and tankers carrying fuel, although seen as a serious challenge to the United States, went beyond that to show Iran’s solidarity with the besieged nation of Venezuela, especially since our people showed their solidarity with the Iranian nation a decade ago under President Hugo Chavez.”

He added, “The Venezuelan and Iranian delegations are meeting uninterruptedly, even in the difficult circumstances of the pandemic in order to increase cooperation and focus on priority areas, and we are now planning to hold a bilateral commission with all ministers from the two governments. It will be a great stride towards the future.”

In early November, the chief Iranian diplomat began a regional tour that included three Latin American countries. In Venezuela, Zarif met with President Maduro, Foreign Minister Arreaza, and Vice President Delcy Rodríguez.

Maduro hailed the “strategic relations” between Iran and Venezuela following the visit by Iran’s top diplomat to Caracas.

“Today 5 November, I had the pleasure of receiving the visit of the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif. A visit that underlines the unwavering spirit of the strategic relations of cooperation and solidarity between Iran and Venezuela,” the Venezuelan president said in a tweet, according to the Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA).

On the other hand, Iran hailed Venezuela as a partner of Iran.

“Cuba and Venezuela are among the political partners of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Latin American region, which have long had extensive political cooperation in bilateral, regional and international sectors,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, the spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, adding, “Venezuela is one of our country’s main destinations for the export of technical and engineering services, and the Iranian private sector has implemented or is implementing various projects in this country.”

SM/PA

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