Iranian oil minister meets Maduro in Caracas
Venezuela's President says his meeting with the Iranian Oil Minister to deepen ties of cooperation in energy matters was productive.
Iran's oil minister Javad Owji has paid an official visit to ally Venezuela to meet President Nicolas Maduro and discuss ways to overcome the effects of US sanctions against both nations, officials said.
On Twitter, Maduro announced that he "received His Excellency Javad Owji, Oil Minister of the sister Islamic Republic of Iran," describing the meeting as "productive" in the course of deepening "the ties of brotherhood and cooperation in energy matters."
Recibí al excelentísimo Javad Owji, Ministro de Petróleo de la hermana República Islámica de Irán. Un encuentro productivo para profundizar los lazos de hermandad y cooperación, en materia energética. También, le reiteré nuestra gratitud y cariño con el pueblo iraní. pic.twitter.com/DwatP0PgmT— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 3, 2022
Earlier, Owji met his Venezuelan counterpart Tareck El Aissami to discuss "the construction of routes and mechanisms to overcome the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States government and allied countries," according to a statement from the Venezuelan Oil Ministry.
Owji's visit to Venezuela, which sits on the world's largest proven reserves of crude, came just weeks after a visit by United States officials amid rising global oil prices due to the war in Ukraine.
Iran would remain on Venezuela's side
On Sunday, Bloomberg reported that Owji is making a rare visit to Venezuela that will see him signing into force energy deals between Tehran and Caracas in light of the US sanctions imposed on the two countries.
The two nations have been subjected to harsh, unilateral US sanctions that have taken a toll on their economies. Washington did not even lift its sanctions during the pandemic, terribly affecting Tehran and Caracas' ability to combat COVID-19.
Iran is a major oil producer and said last month that production capacity was back to levels before the reimposition of US sanctions in 2018.
Venezuela, under strict US sanctions that it blames for the collapse of its once-flourishing oil industry, has strong allies in Iran, Russia, and China.
#EnVivo 📹 | Reunión con el excelentísimo Javad Owji, Ministro de Petróleo de la República Islámica de Irán 🇮🇷 . https://t.co/VxQrknOAJ9— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) May 2, 2022
In 2020, Venezuela received two shiploads of fuel and derivatives from Iran to help address crippling domestic shortages. Just a few years earlier, it was still the United States' main supplier.
Also in 2020, on a visit to Caracas, the then-Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country would remain on Venezuela's side.
The United States does not currently import oil from either nation, though Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro met with senior US officials in Caracas in March, which meant for many that there was hope that Washington would pivot away from its unilateral policy when it comes to the Latin American nation amid the global energy crisis sparked by the West's sanctions on Russia in light of the Ukraine war.