Venezuela, Iran sign 20-year agreement

TEHRAN, Iran –

Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and Iran’s hardline president signed a 20-year cooperation agreement on Saturday, a day after Maduro praised the Islamic Republic for sending much-needed fuel to his country. despite US sanctions.

In an interview with President Maduro after he arrived in Tehran for a two-day visit, Iranian state media reported late Friday that Maduro praised Iran’s move to send fuel tankers to the country. increase his energy hunger.

“The delivery of oil by Tehran to Caracas is a great help to the Venezuelan people,” he said.

Maduro’s first visit to Iran comes amid tensions across the Middle East over the fallout of Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers. U.S. sanctions and soaring global food prices are strangling Iran’s ailing economy, putting further pressure on the government and its people.

A high-level economic and political delegation from Venezuela – which like Iran is under heavy US sanctions – is accompanying Mr. Maduro on his visit, following an invitation from hardline President Ebrahim. Raisi.

During a joint press conference on Saturday, Raisi and Maduro signed a 20-year agreement to expand ties in the petrochemical, military and economic industries.

Iran’s English-language PressTV quoted Mr. Maduro before the press conference as saying that the two would meet to discuss “the need to well inform the countries of Iran and Venezuela about the sanctions war and find ways to counter it.” them steadfastly.”

Maduro said Venezuela and Iran are united by a “common vision” on international issues and are both victims of coercive measures by the United States and its allies.

“Caracas and Tehran have shaped the strategy of (a) the protest economy and are working to expand it,” he said.

Maduro is on a tour of Eurasia after President Joe Biden decided not to invite him to the Summit of the Americas, which begins on Thursday. His stops earlier this week include Algeria and Turkey.

Turkey is one of the few places in the world – Russia and Iran among them – where Maduro is welcome amid US sanctions on his country.

Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua were not invited to the summit by the Biden administration due to their authoritarianism and human rights abuses. That decision led to the Mexican president announcing he would not attend.

Raisi praised Maduro as a leader “who has demonstrated a policy of fighting against imperialism and has achieved good standing by overcoming sanctions and intimidation.”

Maduro announced that a non-stop flight between Tehran and Caracas will begin next month.

Amid rising tensions with the West, Iran has begun removing 27 surveillance cameras from nuclear sites around the country, the head of the United Nations atomic watchdog said on Thursday. . This could deal a “fatal blow” to the tattered nuclear deal, he warned, as Tehran enriches uranium closer to weapons-grade than ever before.

That development comes a day after the International Atomic Energy Agency’s board of governors criticized Tehran for not providing “reliable information” about nuclear material produced at three undeclared sites. newspaper in this country.

Iran’s currency has dropped to its lowest value ever after the censorship – to 326,300 rials against the dollar.

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