Venezuela’s Maduro in Iran for political and economic talks
TEhran, Iran (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro arrived in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Friday for a two-day state visit, the country’s state media reported.
A high-ranking political and economic delegation from Venezuela, which like Iran is under heavy US sanctions, is accompanying Maduro on the visit, following an invitation from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.
Maduro is on a Eurasian tour after being rebuffed by Washington, which decided not to invite him to the Summit of the Americas. His stops earlier this week included Algeria and Turkey.
Turkey is one of the few places in the world – Russia and Iran are other friendly states – where Maduro is welcome amid US sanctions against his country.
Venezuela, along with Cuba and Nicaragua, were not invited by the Biden administration to the Summit of the Americas due to democracy and human rights issues in those countries. It also led to the Mexican president’s decision not to attend.
Venezuela has received Iranian tankers in its ports, and in the past Iran has also exported cars to Venezuela.
Iran this week began removing 27 surveillance cameras from nuclear sites across the country, further blinding the UN’s nuclear watchdog to monitoring Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.
Tensions remain high across the Middle East over the collapse of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, as US sanctions and rising global food prices choke the struggling economy of the Iran, putting further pressure on its government and people.
In 2018, then-President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled America out of the deal, raising tensions across the Middle East and triggering a series of attacks and incidents.