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Iran, Venezuela discuss ‘boosting energy alliance’: Minister

Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji (R) shakes hands with Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Yvan Gil in Caracas on February 3, 2024.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Yvan Gil says he has discussed with Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji ways to bolster the “energy alliance” between the two countries.

In an X post on Saturday, Gil said that his meeting with Owji “was held with the aim of strengthening the energy alliance through mutual cooperation and interests.”

“Unity and friendship between our nations will always be fundamental,” he added.

The Iranian oil minister has traveled to Venezuela to discuss exporting technical-engineering services and follow up the issues such as repair and maintenance of refineries and opening up markets for the private sector in the areas of petrochemicals and oil investment.

In addition to Gil, Owji has met with his Venezuelan counterpart Pedro Tellechea and other officials from the Latin American country.

The meetings have focused on the development of Iran-Venezuela energy ties and the review of refining, petrochemical, infrastructure and gas transmission projects.

Iran and Venezuela, both subject to illegal US sanctions, signed a 20-year cooperation deal in June 2022 during a state visit by President Nicolas Maduro to Tehran. The document covered the energy sector, among other areas of cooperation.

Over the past 20 months, the volume of oil exchanges between Tehran and Caracas has jumped to between $3.5 billion and $4 billion.

Iran rushed to Venezuela’s aid in 2020, when the South American country struggled to produce enough gasoline and diesel due to refinery outages caused by US bans and a US-instigated political turmoil.

Tehran provided crude and condensate as well as parts and feedstock for Venezuela’s aging refining network. It also oversaw a project to modernize the largest refining complex in Venezuela.

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