Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has expressed gratitude to Iran for its continued assistance in overcoming US sanctions pressure on his country’s energy sector.
“We are helping each other,” the president said, speaking in an interview broadcast on state television on Sunday. “I think the Iranian experience will help us reinforce our management capacity…and development projects,” he added.
Maduro noted that he could not reveal more details on the full extent of Iran’s assistance, saying this needs to kept a secret “since we are in a war.”
Commenting on Colombian President Ivan Duque’s recent claims that Caracas was seeking to purchase Iranian-made missiles, Maduro said he felt it was a “good idea” which he had not previously considered, adding that “if it is possible and convenient, we will buy those missiles.”
Maduro emphasized that no has the right to stop Venezuela from buying what it needs.
The Venezuelan leader also warned Colombia against aggression, saying his country already has “the most advanced” missile defence systems in Latin America and the Caribbean thanks to its purchase of Russian defence systems over the years.
Despite their divergent ideologies, with the Islamic Republic constituting a compromise between an Islamic caliphate and a republic, and Venezuela being a left-wing Democratic socialist state, Tehran and Caracas have enjoyed warm relations since the early 2000s. The two countries have signed over two hundred bilateral agreements on everything from defence cooperation to trade, investment, cultural exchange, and regional and global ‘anti-imperialist’ initiatives. Ties between the countries improved further after the election of US President Donald Trump, who tightened sanctions against both nations, withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, and sought to institute regime change in Venezuela in 2019.