Oil producers Iran and Venezuela sign 20-year cooperation plan

June 11 (Reuters) – Iran and Venezuela signed a 20-year cooperation plan in Tehran on Saturday as the two countries, among the world’s top oil producers, grapple with U.S. sanctions that are crippling their exports.

The signing ceremony, broadcast by Iranian state television, was overseen by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro and took place at Saadabad Palace, north of Tehran.

The plan includes cooperation in oil, petrochemicals, defence, agriculture, tourism and culture and was signed by Foreign Ministers Hossein Amirabdollahian and Carlos Faria of Venezuela.

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It also includes the repair of Venezuelan refineries and the export of technical and engineering services.

“Venezuela has shown exemplary resistance against sanctions and threats from enemies and imperialists,” Iran’s Raisi said. “The 20-year cooperation document demonstrates the will of the two countries to develop their relations.”

“Sanctions and threats against the Iranian nation over the past 40 years have been many, but the Iranian nation has turned these sanctions into an opportunity for the country’s progress,” he said.

Maduro said through an interpreter that a weekly flight from Caracas to Tehran would start on July 18.

Maduro, who arrived in Tehran on Friday, is on a two-day visit and is leading a high-level political and economic delegation. Previously, he visited Turkey and Algeria.

Maduro and Raisi then attended a ceremony marking the delivery to Venezuela of the second of four Aframax-sized tankers, each with a capacity of 800,000 barrels, which he ordered from Iranian firm SADRA, said Iranian news agency IRNA.

SADRA has been under US sanctions for more than a decade over its ties to Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards.

Iran and Venezuela have expanded their cooperation since 2020, especially in energy projects and oil exchanges.

In May, Iran’s state-owned National Iranian Oil Engineering and Construction Co signed a contract worth around 110 million euros to repair Venezuela’s smallest 146,000 barrel per day refinery.

The deal was sealed after recent negotiations involving Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji, who was in Venezuela early last month.

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Reporting from Dubai Newsroom; Editing by Jason Neely and Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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