by Dave DeCamp
Iran and Venezuela have announced a plan to sign a 20-year economic cooperation deal as the two countries continue to strengthen their trade relationship in the face of US pressure.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia met with his Iranian officials in Tehran on Monday. After meeting with Plasencia, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the deal will be signed when Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro visits Tehran in the “next few months.”
The Iranian Foreign Ministry said the two diplomats “decided to hold a joint economic commission of the two countries in the near future and to compile and finalize a comprehensive plan for the 20-year economic cooperation between the two countries.”
Both Iran and Venezuela are under crippling economic sanctions, so the two countries are natural trading partners. This growing relationship has angered Washington. During the Trump administration, the US outright stole shipments of Iranian gasoline that were bound for Venezuela.
Despite the US pressure, Caracas and Tehran continue to trade. On Friday, an Iranian ship discharged about 2 million barrels of condensate in Venezuela, a compound used to refine oil. In exchange, Venezuela gave Iran about 2 million barrels of crude.
In Tehran on Monday, Plasencia also met with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. The Iranian leader said strengthening ties with countries like Venezuela will be a priority of his. “In this government, we are determined to overcome the problems caused by the enemies and continue the path of development of our country,” he said.