Venezuela and Iran Sign Cooperation Accords for Economic and Social Development

April 24, 2008 (– During the Fifth Iranian-Venezuelan Mixed Commission meeting in Caracas Wednesday, Venezuela and Iran signed 6 bilateral cooperation accords in the areas of industry, energy, agriculture, housing, infrastructure and physical education.

“The alliances between Iran and Venezuela are to plant the seeds of a pluripolar world of the future, to establish its base and construct its pillars,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro declared.

Iranian Mining Industries Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian commented, “The freedom-seeking peoples are waking up in various parts of the world and they are witness to a very profound evolution in international relations.”

Regarding industry, the two nations signed a knowledge sharing agreement to assist Venezuela in developing its mining industry in the south-central region known as the Apure-Orinoco axis.

A memorandum of understanding was also signed so that when the countries exchange machinery and other technology, they will exchange knowledge as well to ensure their autonomous use of the products.

The two countries also agreed to mutually promote sports and physical education by way of exchanges among specialists in the area, trainers, and sports medicine experts, and sharing experiences in the promotion of athletic activity.

A housing policy committee was formed in order to promote housing and urban development in both countries, including the construction of 15,000 homes in the Caracas community of Mariche as part of the new Misión Villanueva, named after a famous Venezuelan architect.

Along that line, the Venezuelan Housing Ministry and the Iranian Ministry of Industry and Mining agreed to increase the supply of cement and concrete for housing construction.

In addition, the countries confirmed their plans to create a series of mixed enterprises to produce tractors and other agricultural machinery in Venezuela and process prime materials such as aluminum.

Finally, Iran will assist Venezuela in augmenting its sugar production in a region of the state of Lara where 2,460 hectares (6075 acres) of largely idle farmland were expropriated by the Venezuelan government two weeks ago for the purpose of increasing national food production.

“This mixed commission is a good sign of what the alliance between Venezuela and Iran is all about,” Maduro stated Wednesday, “it is an alliance to construct peace, scientific and technological independence, as well as energy, food, and industrial development.”

It was also proposed that Iran help member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) produce tractors and promote agriculture based on the cooperation model it has constructed with Venezuela. ALBA countries including Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Cuba created a $100 million dollar agricultural development fund Tuesday as a response to the world’s food crisis.