By Zahra Mirzafarjouyan

Iran-Venezuela ties offering anti-unilateralism model: envoy

September 18, 2020 - 14:41

TEHRAN – Stating that the hegemony of the US is over, Venezuela's Ambassador to Tehran told Mehr News Agency that the Iran-Venezuela relations are conveying a message to other countries that they can counter the unilateralism too.

To know more on the current level of Iran-Venezuela relations and the future of these relations, Mehr News Agency reached out to Venezuela's Ambassador to Iran Carlos Antonio Alcalá Cordones, and discussed the issues in a friendly atmosphere with him.

How do you assess the current level of both political and economic cooperation between Iran and Venezuela? Do you think this level of cooperation is satisfactory?

Last month, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. Islamic Revolution of Iran is 41 years old and the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela is 21. Therefore, it can be said that during the years of the revolution, both countries have reached a strategic level of bilateral relations. I can remember the actions of our eternal commander, Hugo Chاvez who has made a very special effort to strengthen international relations between two countries because he deeply believed in building a multipolar world. Our current President Nicolas Maduro also believes in a multipolar world.

The leaders of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, and Ayatollah Khamenei, with the same vision, together with their presidents, established a relationship of brotherhood, solidarity, and absolute trust with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. They also demonstrated their vision with decisions and actions that pose a real challenge to the North American empire and sought to strengthen political and trade relations with our country. 

Both countries showed great courage in the face of the threats of the North American empire. Despite the economic blockade and unilateral cross-border sanctions, the two countries trade with each other not only in the fields of energy but also in the fields of food and health products.

The presidents of the two countries, Mr. Rouhani and Mr. Maduro showed that Iran and Venezuela adhere to international law and what is enshrined in the UN Charter. The measures taken by Iran and Venezuela to defend multilateralism showed other nations that they can also unite with each other in the anti-imperialist fight. 

I believe that the relationship between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is more than satisfactory. It is a strategic and growing fraternal relationship. Relations between the two countries are growing in various fields such as energy, security, technology, and health. We are also looking to develop tourism cooperation with Iran, which will be followed specially by the opening of "Conviasa" direct flights to this country.

What are the fields that the two countries can work together both politically and economically? As the ambassador of Venezuela, do you have any plans for boosting ties between the two countries?

So far, important bilateral meetings have been held between the two countries in various fields, which have been in the framework of the preparations for the ninth joint commission of Iran and Venezuela. In line with their goals, both countries are holding separate high-level meetings in both Tehran and Caracas. Various meetings are being held for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, health, food and medicine, and we hope that by the end of the year, with the presence of the presidents of the two countries, the agreements which have been reached during these meetings will be finalized and operational.

Iran and Venezuela are both facing two enemies, the United States and the Israeli regime. They are always trying to take actions that oppose our activities and create problems for our actions. Therefore, given to these issues and in order to prevent the actions of these countries against us, many meetings between Iran and Venezuela are confidential.

Currently, the two countries are working together in the field of technology and science, which includes telecommunications. In the field of food and foodstuff, recently, the first hypermarket called "Megasis" was opened by Iran in Venezuela, and this project will be expanded after negotiations and agreements between the two countries. Of course, the two countries will also cooperate in the fields of health and energy and security according to the agreements reached. 

In my opinion, in addition to the current cooperation, the two countries can cooperate with each other in various other fields and issues. Reciprocal relations with Iran, especially at the parliamentary level, are one of Venezuela's permanent programs. 

What is the importance of both countries' economic cooperation in your opinion while the two countries are under US sanctions?

As you said, both countries are under severe US sanctions, and the United States has created difficulties for both countries by imposing sanctions. But the two countries are still continuing their economic cooperation despite US sanctions. Economic cooperation between the two countries has become a strategy to combat the unilateral and illegal sanctions of the North American empire.

This cooperation will undermine the destabilizing efforts of the United States, which claims to be putting pressure on two independent states, such as Iran and Venezuela, and is a sign to countries that are under the same imperial yoke.

Despite US sanctions, the two countries are still continuing their economic cooperation. What is the message of the continuation of two countries' economic cooperation to the world?

The message is clear. The hegemony of the empire is over. In addition, the cooperation between the two countries conveys the message that we can continue our economic activities despite all the pressures and sanctions. Through peace diplomacy and dialogue, we can achieve our goals. 

Iran and Venezuela are not looking for war and violence, they are only acting to counter US unilateral actions, and they are sending a message to other countries that they can counter unilateralism too. 

As long as there are brave countries like Iran and Venezuela fighting to determine their own destiny, no country will be able to subdue them. The actions taken by the governments and nations of the two countries in this situation clearly show that the development of both countries has not stopped despite the sanctions. This is a lesson for the United States and its allies working to destabilize independent nations. Cooperation between Iran and Venezuela will continue despite illegal sanctions because we adhere to international law and trust the conscience of our nations.

Some believe that US sanctioned countries all over the world should form a 'club of sanctioned countries'. What do you think of this viewpoint? Do you think the formation of such a club can help these countries to confront US unilateralism?

First, it is better to use the word "stronghold" instead of the word "club". The word “stronghold” is compatible with the spirit of struggle that is part of our countries. This means that these sanctioned countries will form a stronghold against the unilateralism of the United States and other countries, and they will no longer be afraid to confront the empire because they have realized that power lies in unity.

Of course, there are many countries and organizations in the world that strive for multilateralism, respect for human rights and international harmony. A clear example of this was the US defeat at the UN Security Council. You saw how the United States even faced opposition from its European allies to what it wanted to do against Iran. All these efforts are in the direction of multilateralism. 

In this regard, if the creation of a group of sanctioned countries is needed to counter US unilateralism, we will be one of the first countries which will join that group and will be at the forefront of the fight against unilateralism. The US policy is based on their interests and the achievement of their goals in a country or a region.

Do you think the result of the US presidential election can affect Washington's policy towards Venezuela? Is there a fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans?

In my opinion, the result of the US presidential election has no effect on the foreign policy of this country towards other countries. Republicans and Democrats have a single policy and their foreign policy would not change significantly with a change of administration in the White House. Whether the next president is a Republican or a Democrat, we will not see a change in the policy of this country towards other countries. As we can see, there have been many wars in both the Democratic and Republican administrations. The US policy is based on their interests and achieving their goals in a country or a region. Therefore, in my opinion, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. In the November election, only the actors of American general politics change, and there is no particular difference between Trump and Biden. Their main policy is to impose their will and domination on other countries of the world. 

They have always imagined that South America is the backyard of the United States. According to the Monroe Doctrine, they believed that the entire Americas, Central America, Latin America, and the Caribbean should be under the control of the United States. This rule is not true. In the region of Latin America, Central America, and the Caribbean, there are countries with different resources and capitals, and in fact, the United States wants to access and control the resources of these countries.Therefore, we see that their policy is unchangeable. They have always acted in the same way and will continue to do so.

Despite all these pressures, how do you see the future of Iran and Venezuela relations?

At present, relations between Iran and Venezuela are at a good level. In the future, the relations between the two countries will continue to a higher and better level. These two countries have chosen to act in the direction of determining their own destiny and promoting their development and economy.

 During the 70 years of relations between the two countries, we have seen that no country or government has been able to prevent the relations between Iran and Venezuela. The United States, its allies and the Zionist regime are also unable to prevent the continuation of relations between Iran and Venezuela.

I see a positive future for Iran-Venezuela relations. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the Islamic Republic of Iran have vast resources that enable the development of both countries.

Certainly, the relations between the two countries will be progressing because neither of these countries believes in pressures and sanctions anymore, and they are trying to build a new model of developing relations under the slogan of win-win in order to destroy the hegemonic plans.

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