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Iran, Venezuela sign 20-year cooperation agreement

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidency shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi (R) and Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (L) shaking hands during a joint statement after their meeting in the capital Tehran on June 11, 2022.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi and his visiting Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro have overseen the signing of a 20-year partnership agreement aimed at bolstering cooperation in various fields between Tehran and Caracas.

The signing ceremony was officially held in the presence of the two countries’ high-ranking officials in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Saturday.

The partnership agreement includes cooperation in the fields of science, technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism as well as culture.

Raeisi hailed the accord as an indication of the two countries' determination to expand bilateral ties despite US and Western pressure.

“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,” Raeisi told the 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.”

Raeisi said Washington's maximum pressure on Iran has miserably failed as acknowledged by the US, adding the admission is a victory for Iran and a defeat for the enemies.

Praising the Venezuelan nation’s resistance against the US, the Iranian president said, “Venezuela went through difficult years, but the will of the people and the government of this country was that it must stand up to the enemies, and it has moved in that direction.”

“Our relationship with Venezuela is strategic and exists in many different areas,” Raeisi noted. “The signing of the 20-year cooperation document between the two countries is a manifestation of the will of the high officials of the two countries to expand ties in various fields.”

The Iranian president also said that “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.”

He hoped that the Venezuelan president’s visit to Iran will be a turning point in boosting relations between the two countries.

Raeisi said the launch of direct Tehran-Caracas flights, which will take place soon, is an opportunity for the two countries to expand economic and trade relations and bring their relations closer.

Maduro: Count on our support 

The Venezuelan president, for his part, lauded the 20-year partnership agreement between Tehran and Caracas, saying the two sides will be able to expand bilateral relationship by consolidating their ties and drawing a clear vision in the next two decades.

“We will use the historical experiences of Iran and put technology at the focal point of this cooperation agreement,” Maduro said.

“We are witnessing different areas of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, oil, gas, refineries and petrochemicals, and in the field of financing through the Iran-Venezuela Relations Development Bank, as well as in the field of defense.”

The Venezuelan president also confirmed the launch of direct flights from Caracas to Tehran and vice versa as of July 18, stressing that it will help develop  tourism.

“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,” Maduro said. “I tell the Iranian people to count on all our support and cooperation.”

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