Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

Venezuela's Maduro to visit Iran for co-operation agreements

Iran recently sent five fuel tankers to Venezuela

The US has imposed tough sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector in its efforts to dismiss President Maduro. AFP
The US has imposed tough sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector in its efforts to dismiss President Maduro. AFP

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said he would visit Iran shortly to sign co-operation agreements in energy and other sectors, after Iran sent five fuel tankers to the petrol-starved South American country.

"I am obliged to go to personally thank the people," Mr Maduro said in a state television address, without providing a date for the visit.

Last week, Mr Maduro said he was considering whether to raise the price of petrol in Venezuela, where it currently costs less than one US cent a gallon (about 4 fils per litre).

Despite possessing the world’s largest underground oil reserves, the country is unable to pump crude from the ground and has been forced to bridge deep shortages by buying fuel from Iran.

The shipments mark a new era in the relationship between Venezuela and Iran, both of which face stiff sanctions by the Trump administration.

The US recognises opposition politician Juan Guaido as Venezuela's legitimate leader in a coalition of nearly 60 nations, which consider Mr Maduro's election a fraud because his most popular rivals were banned from running.

Updated: June 2, 2020 04:55 PM

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