Venezuela’s Maduro and officials meet with Iran oil minister

A man with dark hair and mustache, wearing a purple shirt, looks through binoculars
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro attends a May Day rally in Caracas, Venezuela, on May 1, 2022.
(Ariana Cubillos / Associated Press)

President Nicolás Maduro and other high-ranking Venezuelan officials have met with the oil minister of Iran to discuss cooperation in energy matters and efforts to defeat economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and its allies.

Officials from both oil-producing nations ratified agreements in this week’s meetings in Venezuela, according to a statement from that country’s Oil Ministry. Iran’s delegation was led by Oil Minister Javad Owji.

Venezuelan Petroleum Minister Tareck El Aissami praised “the position assumed by the Persian nation in the construction of routes and mechanisms to overcome the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the government of the United States and allied countries,” according to the statement.


Neither country announced the visit in advance.

Since late President Hugo Chávez won power in 1999 and founded the current leftist government, Venezuela has strengthened relations in the energy, commercial, financial and industrial sectors with Iran. In recent years, Iran has shipped gasoline and other products to the country amid a U.S. sanctions campaign.

Venezuela, which has one of the world’s largest oil reserves, is facing an industry crisis that officials associate with the U.S. sanctions imposed to press for the exit of the Maduro government, but that analysts maintain is due to a fall in production, financial difficulties and lack of investment.

Maduro on Tuesday tweeted that Venezuela has “always” had the support of Iran. He added that Iran can count on Venezuela’s “support and commitment to continue advancing along the path of shared benefit and complementarity for our peoples.”

Owji also tweeted that the countries have a long history and want “to use all capacities to develop mutual relations and cooperation.”