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Venezuela: Aggressive US sanctions won’t hinder free trade with Iran

A Venezuelan oil worker holds up a small Iranian flag during a ceremony for the oil tanker’s arrival at the El Palito refinery near Puerto Cabello, Venezuela, May 25, 2020. (Photo by AP)

Caracas has denounced the latest US sanctions against Venezuela and Iran as an act of “aggression,” saying such “arrogant” actions cannot prevent the South American country from exercising its right to forge economic relations with Iran or any other state.

In a statement released on Monday, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry said “this new (American) action against multilateralism confirms that the ruling elite of the United States has no respect whatsoever for joint decisions necessary to preserve international peace and security.”

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump’s administration slapped a raft of new sanctions on the Iranian Defense Ministry and individuals with the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, claiming it is enforcing a UN arms embargo on Tehran.

The latest sanctions target 27 Iranian entities and people in Iran’s nuclear, missile and conventional arms sectors.

Announcing the anti-Iran measures, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also declared sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, accusing him of flouting the UN arms embargo on Iran.

Washington claimed Trump had issued the executive order with the authority of the UN since the US had declared Iran in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

This is while both UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the vast majority of the 15-strong UN Security Council have insisted that the US does not have the legal power to take those steps after it unilaterally withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry further said “no intimidating and arrogant action by the US government will prevent it from exercising its sovereign right to establish economic and commercial relations freely with the Islamic Republic of Iran and with any State.”


It said the US sanctions against Maduro are “another attempt to ignore the institutionality of the United Nations,” particularly the Security Council.

“Venezuela rejects and condemns before the international community the new aggression by the US government, which has announced unilateral sanctions against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro without any grounds as part of an ongoing campaign of aggression against Iran, Venezuela and the entire UN multilateral system,” it said.

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