Zarif Urges Closer International Cooperation Between Iran, Venezuela

He made the remarks in a meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez in Tehran on Saturday. Zarif said Tehran has always maintained good relations with Caracas, adding, “We are ready to further enhance mutual relations within the framework of common interests.”

He noted that the imposed sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program have caused problems for the country in the oil sector, saying that Tehran currently seeks to revive its previous capacities. Zarif said he would pay a visit to Latin American countries and Venezuela in particular to hold more consultations with his Venezuelan counterpart on finding new capacities for cooperation.

The Venezuelan foreign minister, for her part, said in talks between Caracas and member countries of the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), they have always recognized Iran’s right to return its oil production ceiling to the previous figure. OPEC said on April 13 that Iranian crude production in March was 3.3 million barrels per day (mb/d), up from 2.9 million in January. Iran has maintained that it is targeting the production of 4 mb/d in the new Iranian year (started March 20). Rodriguez said Venezuela is keen to bolster cooperation with Iran in medical, banking and mineral sectors and hold more consultations about ways to develop the Non-Aligned Movement.

Meantime, Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said when it comes to Iran-Venezuela ties, the sky is the limit. He made the remarks in a meeting with Venezuelan Vice President for Economy Miguel Perez Abad in Tehran on Saturday. He said relations between Tehran and Caracas are strategic, adding that post-sanction Iran is ready to share its experiences with Venezuela on how best to deal with the US-led trade sanctions and restrictions.

Jahangiri said despite low prices, Iran will continue to boost oil production volume until it regains its pre-sanction market position. Perez Abad, for his part, said it is past time for the two sides to form the joint economic commission in order to implement all the existing trade and economic deals. He said the nuclear deal between Tehran and the world powers put on display the lies the West had said about the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program, adding that his country recognizes Iran’s right to boost oil production output.


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