May 29, 2023

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Iran president planning a trip to Latin America: ambassador 

TEHRAN – Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojjatullah Soltani has said that plans are afoot for a visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to Latin America.

In an interview with the Iranian IRNA news agency, Soltani took stock of the state of relations between Iran and Venezuela. He said, “Our relations are very good and moving forward in all spheres politically, economically, culturally, scientifically and technically. Currently, our political relations with Venezuela are at the highest level and we have high political commonalities with the government and people of this country.”

He added, “In the economic field, many projects have been formed and good works have been done, and many Iranian companies are working in Venezuela. We have had one of the most successful science and technology fairs in Venezuela, where 85 knowledge-based companies with 145 managers and researchers participated in Venezuela. In the cultural field, we also exchange students between the two countries, so Iran-Venezuela relations are moving well in all fields.”

Soltani said the Raisi administration, influenced by the revolutionary outlook and diversification of relations in the international arena, has paid good attention to Latin America.

“Within the last two years, our relations with Venezuela have increased significantly compared to before, and [Iranian Foreign Minister] Amir Abdollahian’s trip to Latin America was a very successful trip and was well received, and good agreements were formed with this country. Based on this trip and affected by the negotiations that took place during this trip, we had several delegations that were sent to Venezuela after the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and two or three of these delegations are still in Venezuela and are conducting their negotiations,” he continued. 

Soltani noted, “Due to the depth of relations and the variety of issues we have, it is necessary to have frequent and continuous exchanges of political and high-ranking economic delegations, which fortunately is being done and we hope that in the year 1402 [began on March 21] we will be able to continue the same path with strength and power.”

Responding to a question on Iran-Venezuela oil cooperation, Soltani said, “During the visit of the oil minister, many of these issues were discussed, including oil relations. Iran and Venezuela move like two countries that always have dynamic and progressive relations, and the news of the exchanges made in this area was spread through mass media. Therefore, Iran and Venezuela’s capabilities and needs complement each other in many areas, and these cooperations are pursued based on a friendly, brotherly atmosphere and in a win-win framework for both sides.”

He also addressed the president’s trip to Latin America and planning for this trip. “Affected by the policy of diversification in foreign relations, Ayatollah Raisi has a special view on Latin America, which is very important as an economic and political bloc in the world. There have been talks about the president’s visit, but the exact date and time period of this trip will be investigated and decided upon by the relevant authorities at the right time,” he said. 

Soltani said the president will visit several countries, not just Venezuela.  “Whenever a trip is planned, usually one or more countries are on the agenda. For example, if we consider Maduro’s trip to Iran in 1401 (2022), he visited 6 countries in the Middle East region. When visiting Latin America, [Iranian] presidents usually visit two or three countries depending on the distance. The office of the President and higher officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will decide on whether Ayatollah Raisi’s visit will be to one or more countries at the appropriate time and according to the conditions of the investigation in this field,” he noted.

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