President Ebrahim Raeisi hailed Iran and Venezuela for opposing Western domination and imperialism, saying the two countries’ most valuable asset is their people who have decided to resist the excessive demands of the hegemonic powers.
Raeisi made the remark during a meeting with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia Gonzalez on the sidelines of the sixth summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in the Qatari capital of Doha on Monday.
The president hailed Venezuela for successfully overcoming the sanctions with the support of its people and through resistance and planning despite intense pressure from the West, saying “today we see that the situation in this country improves”.
Raeisi expressed Tehran’s willingness to expand bilateral cooperation with Caracas in various fields. He said that the countries of Latin America are an eloquent example of the certainty of triumph against the hegemony of world powers.
“Countries like Venezuela and Iran, larger than their oil and gas reserves, have decided to resist excessive demands [of the West]. This is the greatest asset of our countries,” the Iranian president said.
Raeisi said Iran-Venezuela relations are strategic and should be vigorously maintained. He said the agreements signed between the two countries in the past should be implemented and operationalized as soon as possible.
Gonzalez, for his part, pointed to Venezuela’s strong opposition to US imperialism.
He said, “The United States wants all nations to respect its wishes, but the Venezuelan people have stood firm in resisting Washington’s aspirations and will not allow it to obstruct Venezuela’s leadership role in the nations’ struggle for peace.” Latin America for their rights and freedom.
The senior Venezuelan diplomat also stressed his country’s interest in further strengthening relations with Iran.
National assets abroad
Also on Monday, Raeisi said in a meeting with Iranians residing in Qatar that the Iranian diaspora abroad is a national asset and Tehran is fully committed to protecting their rights.
Iranian expatriates, he said, have the same rights as those living in Iran and the government has duties and responsibilities towards them.
Raeisi said that Iranians living abroad regard their country as the best place for investment and economic activity, stressing that efforts must be made to pave the way for achieving this goal within the borders of Iran more than before.
Raisi’s visit is the first to Qatar by an Iranian president in 11 years. Earlier, Qatar and Iran signed 14 memorandums of understanding in aviation, trade, navigation, media, waiver of visa requirements, electricity, standards , education and culture.
“We see this visit as a step towards activating diplomacy with neighbors, especially Persian Gulf countries, and using their capabilities to develop political and economic ties,” Raeisi said before leaving Tehran for Doha early Monday.
“Iran seeks to strengthen these relations because our goal is regional convergence,” the Iranian president said in a joint speech with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
Qatar has good relations with Iran, with which it shares a giant gas field. Tehran backed Doha after Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies imposed a boycott on Qatar in mid-2017.
President Raeisi will take part in a summit of gas exporters in Doha on Tuesday. The forum represents the nations that hold 70% of the world’s proven gas reserves.
In addition to Qatar and Iran, the forum includes Russia, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Algeria, Bolivia, Equatorial Guinea, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, in addition to the seven observer countries which are Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Malaysia, Norway, Peru. and the United Arab Emirates.