Venezuela and Iran Increase Economic Integration

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, in the Islamic Republic of Iran this weekend, where he signed at least 17 agreements and formalized the construction a new joint petrochemical complex on the Iranian coast.

By Chris Carlson - Venezuelanalysis.com
Short URL

Mérida, July 3, 2007 (venezuelanalysis.com)— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met his Iranian counterpart, President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, in the Islamic Republic of Iran this weekend, where he signed at least 17 agreements and formalized the construction a new joint petrochemical complex on the Iranian coast, further strengthening the growing relationship between the two nations in recent years.

The two presidents announced their intention to "defeat imperialism" yesterday as they signed several joint trade and industrial agreements. Chavez assured that the increased cooperation between Iran and Venezuela "plays an effective role in defeating imperialist politics and the salvation of nations."

"The election of governments in the region [of Latin America] that are against the United States shows that U.S. imperialism has been weakened," assured Chavez.

Upon arriving to Iran on Saturday, Chavez emphasized that Iran and Venezuela are two nations that have taken the road toward national development without impositions from Washington. Chavez reminded journalists that for decades Venezuela was a country that only exported petroleum and imported everything else. But now, with the help of many countries including Iran, Venezuela is moving forward with multiple strategic projects. Iran has collaborated with Venezuela in various industrial projects including the production of automobiles, tractors, and plastic products.

Among the new agreements signed between the two leaders are plans for several joint companies. With the intention of strengthening the industrial sector, the two nations have agreed to study the possibility of constructing a factory to produce small pieces for the metals industry. Also discussed was the formation of a joint factory to produce tool machinery, a factory to produce machines and molds to be used by plastic companies, and another factory for the production and assembly of bicycles.

Another agreement establishes plans to build ten small plants with Iranian technology for processing milk in Venezuela. These small plants would be used by small producers in the country. The two countries also signed an accord to create a food and milk-processing company in Venezuela.

On Monday the two leaders officially inaugurated the construction of a large petrochemical complex with an annual capacity of 1.65 million tons of methanol. Located  about 800 miles south of Tehran, the complex will be a joint company with 51% belonging to Iran, and 49% to Venezuela and will have a total cost of 700 million dollars.

The two governments have plans to build a second identical complex in Venezuela as well with the purpose of opening markets in Latin America to Iran as the complex in Iran will open new markets, such as India, to Venezuela.

In their classic style, both presidents criticized the United States and "North American Imperialism" at a joint press conference during the inauguration of the new complex. Venezuelan President Chavez sharply criticized the posture of the United States towards Iran and accused them of trying to make the Iranians look like "some barbarians who want an atomic bomb."

"The real barbarians are those who occupied and destroyed Iraq, the real barbarians are those who attack the Palestinian people," said Chavez going on to also criticize the European colonization of Latin America.

"Those who destroyed the Inca civilization are barbarians. The genocidal murderers who destroyed the Aztec and Maya civilizations are barbarians," he said.

Chavez stressed that Latin American countries are trying to create their own model of development, "not based on North American values nor European ones, but on our own indigenous values."

Short URL