Iran’s Raisi travels to Venezuela for Latin American tour to boost ‘strategic’ ties

Tehran, May 12 (EFE).- Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi left for Venezuela Monday where he will meet his counterpart Nicolás Maduro for his first stop in a three-legged tour of Latin America to boost regional ties.

During the tour, Raisi will also visit Nicaragua and Cuba, countries Raisi described as sharing common views with Tehran on major international issues, according to Iran’s state-backed Mehr news agency.

“Our common position with these three countries is opposition to the (world’s) hegemonic system and unilateralism,” Raisi said speaking in Tehran’s Mehrabad Airport before departing.

The Iranian president defined relations with Caracas, Havana and Managua as “strategic” and said that his trip could lead to a deepening of ties with the three states.

“Export of technical and engineering manpower is among our important cooperation areas,” Raisi said.

“We also cooperate with Latin American countries in the fields of politics, energy, science and technology, medicine and economy,” the Iranian president added.

During the five-day visit, Raisi will be traveling with a large delegation of politicians, economists and scientists.

This is Raisi’s first trip to Latin America since he took office in August 2021.

Raisi’s foreign policy has until now focused on boosting regional ties with Iran’s neighboring countries.

He also traveled to Russia in January 2022 to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and participated in the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Iran maintains close ties with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba all of whom have a strained relationship with the United States.

Late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez (1999-2013) developed strong ties with Tehran, which have been maintained by Nicolás Maduro’s government, particularly since 2020 when Caracas’ oil industry collapsed and Tehran sent 60 million gallons of oil deliveries to Venezuela.

Iran and Venezuela signed a 20-year deal in June 2022 to bolster bilateral cooperation in various fields such as science, technology, agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, tourism and culture.EFE


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