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Venezuela and Iran sign 20-year cooperation plan, Maduro pledges joint ‘anti-imperialist struggle’

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visited Iran and signed a historic 20-year cooperation agreement involving energy, technology, and trade. He pledged solidarity against Western aggression in a joint “anti-imperialist struggle for a better world.”

Venezuela Iran Maduro Raisi
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on June 11, 2022

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro took a historic trip to Iran and announced a 20-year cooperation agreement, pledging to more closely integrate the countries’ economies and work together in a joint “anti-imperialist struggle for a better world, of international respect and peace, without hegemonies.”

Maduro signed the pact with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran on June 11. It was described by the Venezuelan and Iranian governments as a “partnership agreement” and “cooperation agreement.”

The deal involves collaboration in science, technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism, and culture, according to Tehran’s Press TV.

Iranian President Raisi said the document establishes formal “cooperation in the fields of energy, thermal power plants, repair and overhaul of refineries, exportation of technical and engineering services, economic, defense and military relations in the current government are indicative of the existence of many potentials and capacities in the two countries.”

This agreement follows another historic 25-year cooperation plan that Iran signed with China in 2021, which has been estimated at $400 billion.

Top Iranian diplomats signed similar deals with Nicaragua’s Sandinista government in May.

Nicaragua signs historic agreements with Iran, discusses bartering to evade illegal US sanctions

These pacts are signs of growing South-South cooperation against Western imperialism, not only within Latin America and Asia, but even across the ocean.

Both Venezuela and Iran suffer from aggressive sanctions imposed unilaterally by the United States, which are illegal under international law.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always sought relations with independent countries in its foreign policy, and Venezuela has resisted the sanctions of the enemies and imperialism and has shown exemplary resistance,” Raisi said at the signing ceremony.

“There have been numerous sanctions and threats against our country over the past 24 years, but the Iranian nation decided to turn the sanctions into an opportunity for the sake of the country’s progress,” the Iranian leader added.

Maduro emphasized upon signing the agreement, “The youths of Iran and Venezuela must know that the world of the future is a world of equality and justice. We stand against imperialism, and together we must build the future.”

The Venezuelan president likewise tweeted his “love, solidarity, brotherhood” for Iran, referring to the country as “brothers and comrades in anti-imperialist struggle.”

Maduro announced that, as of July, there will be regular flights between Caracas and Tehran.

He added that a large oil tanker built by Iranian company Sadra was delivered to Venezuela. The vessel has a capacity of 800,000 barrels.

Iran has helped Venezuela circumvent illegal US sanctions, breaking the blockade that Washington has imposed on the South American nation, which makes it difficult to export oil and import the lighter petroleum and diluents that Caracas needs to process its heavy crude.

After meeting with President Raisi, Maduro sat down with Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“Iran and Venezuela have closer ties with each other than any other country. The Islamic Republic of Iran has proven that when dangers arise for its friends, Iran takes risks and helps its friends,” Khamenei remarked, according to a readout.

“The successful experiences of Iran and Venezuela in standing up to US’s intense pressures and hybrid warfare have proven that the only way to confront the US is through resistance and persistence,” Khamenei said.

“The Venezuelan government and nation’s victorious fight against the US and its all-out hybrid war on Venezuela, plus Mr. Maduro the Venezuelan nation’s resistance, are invaluable. Resistance raises a nation’s and its leaders’ status and esteem. The US views Venezuela differently today,” Khamenei added.

Maduro vowed support for Palestinian liberation, and Khamenei praised the Venezuelan leader’s “courageous” stance “against the Zionist regime.”

Khamenei’s official Twitter account shared a metaphorical image of an Iranian oil tanker and a Venezuela jet destroying a US flag in the ocean.

Before his trip to Iran, Maduro also visited Algeria and Turkey.

In his meeting with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Maduro said the leaders discussed “our firm solidarity with Palestine, support for the Saharawi people, and shared concern about the situation in brotherly Libya.”

Maduro later tweeted, “Total success! We continue building a new map of strategic alliances, in benefit of the Venezuelan people. A new world is possible!”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tom Roche

    2022-06-20 at 12:21

    … but don’t forget that, in addition to Venezuela and Nicaragua (mentioned above), Iran is also forging closer economic ties with Cuba: see, e.g., https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Cuba-and-Iran-Agreed-To-Develop-Banking-Ties-20220519-0015.html

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