World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Venezuela's president on Saturday he backed coordinated action between Tehran and Caracas to reverse a rapid fall in global oil prices which he described as a "political ploy hatched by common enemies".
"The strange drop in oil prices in such a short time is a political ploy and unrelated to the market. Our common enemies are using oil as a political ploy and they definitely have a role in this severe fall in prices," Khamenei said in talks with Maduro.
"(Khamenei) endorsed an agreement between the presidents of Iran and Venezuela for a coordinated campaign against the slide in oil prices", the official IRNA news agency said.
The presidents of Iran and Venezuela also emphasized on the similarities, interests and common measures of two countries in bilateral, regional and global issues and called for the expansion of multilateral cooperation of Tehran-Caracas.
"The development of relations with Latin American countries is top priority of the 11th government of Iran’s policies," the president Rouhani said at the joint meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart in Tehran.
President Hassan Rouhani welcomed the presence of Nicolás Maduro and agreements which have signed during this trip and wished the continuation of bilateral cooperation in the fields of establishing a common flight line to develop our tourism.
President Nicholas Maduro is on a tour of fellow OPEC countries to lobby for higher oil prices, which hit new lows last week below $50 per barrel, nearly half of what they were back in June 2014.
The plunge in crude prices has pummelled the public finances of Iran and Venezuela, whose economies rely heavily on oil exports.
"Undoubtedly, cooperation among the aligned countries in the OPEC can both defuse the plots of certain powers against the organization and help stabilize an acceptable price for oil in 2015," Rouhani said .
Elsewhere, he called for the further development of bilateral relations with Venezuela in trade, investment, exports of technical and engineering services, medical industries, ship-building and direct flights between the two countries.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran can have the necessary cooperation with Venezuela in areas of housing, road-construction, industry, and food and drug industries to meet the needs of the Latin American country," Rouhani said.
He also asked for strengthening cooperation between Tehran and Caracas in international organizations, and said such cooperation can lead to the establishment of security and development.
He further pointed to the status quo of Iran-Venezuela relations, and said, "Tehran and Caracas should always stand beside each other and they should help each other to prevent the enemies from harming their national interest."
President Rouhani reiterated that Iran and Venezuela should boost their economic cooperation, and said, "We will be looking for broadening bilateral ties, especially in economic areas."
The Venezuelan president also called for the development of relations with Iran in the international and bilateral fields.
Venezuela seeks expansion of relations with Iran in the economic, political fields, he added.
On developments in the oil market, President Maduro called for the cooperation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to set the price of this strategic product.
Venezuela's economy contracted in the first three quarters of 2014 and its international reserves have deteriorated sharply due to the tumbling oil prices. The decline has spurred concerns that Venezuela may default on its foreign bonds, which in turn has pushed its bond yields to the highest of any emerging market nation. Maduro has denied his country will default.
Already hit by global sanctions over its suspected nuclear programme, Iran has been particularly frustrated by the failure of OPEC countries -- led by its arch regional rival Saudi Arabia -- to cut output to ease the existing glut in the oil market.
At its previous meeting on Nov. 27, the cartel decided to keep output at 30 million barrels per day. Saudi Arabia blamed the weak market on oversupply by non-OPEC producers such as Russia, Mexico, Kazakhstan and the United States. OPEC is due to meet next in June.
Last Mod: 10 Ocak 2015, 22:06