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Bolivia’s new government intends to reopen embassy in Tehran

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (R) meets with Bolivia's president-elect Luis Arce in La Paz on November 7, 2020.

Bolivia’s new government intends to reopen its embassy in Tehran, in a move aimed at rebuilding the country’s relations with other states, Foreign Minister Rogelio Mayta says.

Mayta said President Luis Arce’s administration wanted to restore relations with Iran, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina and Russia, Venezuelan television station Telesur reported on Sunday.

Mayta said his country should seek to interact with all countries of the world within the framework of respect for sovereignty.

Under former president Evo Morales who was forced to resign last November, Tehran and La Paz enjoyed close bilateral relations.

However back in June, Bolivia’s then-interim president Jeanine Anez announced the closure of her country’s diplomatic offices in Iran and Nicaragua.

“We have nothing against those noble and brotherly countries that we respect and are friends, but we are going to close those embassies to save and invest those savings in health and against the COVID-19,” Anez said at the time.

Upon Arce’s landslide victory in the October 19 presidential election, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani voiced Tehran’s readiness to revive relations and expand cooperation with the new Bolivian government.

“In the new era of returning power to the people’s representatives, I voice support for your elected government and express the readiness of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to revive mutual relations and expand cooperation with the friendly country of Bolivia in all fields,” Rouhani said in a message to Arce.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also visited Bolivia last month to attend Arce’s inauguration. Zarif, too, underlined the need to boost ties and strengthen cooperation between the two nations.

Mayta said Sunday during the Anez administration, Bolivia had severed ties with Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Cuba and Iran, regretting the moves which he described as politically motivated and based on US orders.

“During those 11 months they have erased us from the map, it was an unnecessary and exaggerated tension and we are already normalizing it," the Bolivian foreign minister added.

Anez assumed interim presidency in November 2019, after Morales was effectively ousted under pressure from the military and following the opposition’s challenging of his presidential election victory.

Morales returned to Bolivia from exile in Argentina in early November. 

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