MNA – Iran has demonstrated its “geopolitical power” and its ability to defy US hegemony by sending fuel tankers to blockaded Venezuela, the Venezuelan ambassador to Iran says.
“Success in delivery of the fuel shows Iran’s geopolitical power which challenges the United States’ hegemony and shows the capability to create solidarity in the international energy market,” Carlos Antonio Alcala Cordones tells the Tehran Times.
Following is the text of the interview:
Amid heightened tensions and threats from the United States, the first of five Iranian oil tankers heading to Venezuela entered the country’s waters on Saturday. What’s your take on this development?
The Iranian oil tankers entered Venezuela amid heightened tension with the United States while threats against our country and the Islamic Republic of Iran have not stopped. The two countries have challenged threats of the United States’ imperialism to defend their right to do foreign trade, have diplomatic relations and strategic ties which have been maintained for 70 years. Iran and Venezuela are committed to international law and regulations of the United Nations Charter. Transfer of fuel shows not only the business relations between two independent countries but also shows that unilateral sanctions by the White House will not prevent this legal action. So, it must be recognized by the international community.
How would this development impact the Iran-Venezuela relations?
Iran and Venezuela’s relations have started since 1950. The relations promoted to a strategic level since 1999 when our everlasting commander Hugo Chavez took the office. Since then, the relations include cooperation in various areas of energy, technology, business, defense, education, and healthcare. The two countries also formed channels of cooperation based on trust and solidarity.
Today, President Nicolas Maduro continues the path of strategic cooperation with the Islamic Republic of Iran and is strengthening diplomatic relations. Now, the relations are in the best state. In difficult times, such as the present one, when both countries are under unfair and cruel sanctions of the United States, a strategy of economic interaction has been developed which will be definitely beneficial for the two countries. Now, the shortage of fuel in Venezuela has been caused by the unilateral and extra-territorial actions of the United States. The country [Venezuela] is not able to refine its crude oil because of the sanctions even though it has the largest volume of oil reserves, so it has to ask for help from countries such as Iran to help in the fuel crisis.
This new chapter in relations is full of courage, justice, and solidarity. Leaders of the two countries guide their nations wisely and bravely and counter the United States.
In your view, what is the major reason behind the United States’ increasing hostilities towards Iran and Venezuela?
The main reason is destabilizing and weakening governments of these two independent countries. They have been besieged by the United States and its allies since the revolutions in the two countries. However, such strategies have always failed, because Iran and Venezuela are being supported by the people who have elected their leaders in democratic ways. Our government is legitimate and has been elected by the people. Despite the policies adopted in line with the people’s progress and well-being, there have been many impediments over the past 20 years after the Bolivarian revolution.
During these years of revolutionary struggle, we have faced attempts of coup, assassination attempts against our president, economic sanctions, looting of properties including 31 tons of gold. The Venezuelan people have countered these attempts vigilantly.
Both Venezuela and Iran have warned Washington against any act of interference with the fuel delivery. What message does the success of the delivery convey to the world?
In fact, Iran had warned against any harassment by the United States in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. In this letter, Iran’s Foreign Minister [Mohammad Javad Zarif] said that any illegal action will be piracy and the United States would be responsible for the consequences of any illegal action.
On the other hand, the Venezuelan government had condemned the United States’ sanctions at the United Nations and made clear that it has the legitimate right to defend its independence and territorial integrity. President Nicolas Maduro commanded Venezuelan armed forces to take security actions to protect the Iranian tankers. His command was carried out completely which shows the integrity and power of Venezuela’s armed forces.
Success in delivery of the fuel shows Iran’s geopolitical power which challenges the United States’ hegemony and shows the capability to create solidarity in the international energy market.
Why was the delivery of Iran’s oil to Venezuela so important for ordinary Venezuelans? What has happened in Venezuela and what’s the impact of Iran’s oil on that country?
Undoubtedly, it has impacts on both Chavists and opponents, because the shortage of fuel had paralyzed the country’s development. Venezuelans are active and seek progress and peace. We seek to develop a free and independent country.
As we saw in photos, even the Venezuelans protected the Iranian tankers. Was a military intervention by countries such as the US possible? Why did most news agencies describe the successful transfer of Iran’s oil to Venezuela as a heavy strategic defeat for the US?
This is a correct understanding because the United States has not stopped besieging our country and the Islamic Republic of Iran. In our country, all the military and defense protocols become active when we face threats. In line with this, the Venezuelan armed forces are constantly on alert. Both countries have found ways to counter the United States’ economic sanctions and neutralize their effects. This action shows the failure of the United States’ hegemonic claims to reach our resources. It can be a role model for all the oppressed people in the world. Successful delivery of the fuel is a victory for diplomacy. The two nations, being led by President Maduro, [Iranian President] Hassan Rouhani, and Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei [Leader of the Islamic Revolution] showed that the United States’ imperialism can be countered.
Today, 41 years after the Islamic Revolution and 21 years after the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, the two countries are role models of dignity and power for humanity.
First Published in Tehran Times
Interview by Negar Asadi