Oil Fall Ploy to Force Nations Into Submission

Oil Fall Ploy to Force  Nations Into Submission
Oil Fall Ploy to Force  Nations Into Submission

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro held separate meetings with Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Saturday.

In his meeting with the Venezuelan official, Ayatollah Khamenei described the "unusual" slump in oil prices in "a short period of time" as a "ploy by enemies" to pressure other nations into submission to their demands.

The Leader said, "Our common enemies are using oil as a political weapon and are certainly playing a role in this sharp decline in oil prices," ISNA reported.  

Oil prices have plunged more than 50 percent since June last year over excess supplies by some oil exporters, such as Saudi Arabia, the largest OPEC producer, and a weak demand due to a slowing global economy. Ayatollah Khamenei noted that the cooperation between Tehran and Caracas should not be limited to "coordinated action against falling oil prices" and said, "Both countries should increase the level of their trade and investment."

He also stated, "(The revolutionary) principles and ideals of Venezuela have led to the awakening of many nations in Latin America, which is the main reason behind US enmity toward the Venezuelan government and nation."

The Venezuelan president also met with President Rouhani on Saturday. During the meeting, Rouhani called for joint action by oil-producing countries which have friendly relations in response to the oil plunge, noting such cooperation could be crucial to reversing the declining trend of oil prices and addressing adverse policies of some world powers.

"Undoubtedly, cooperation among like-minded states can help foil plans by some powers against OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and stabilize oil prices at a reasonable level in 2015," IRNA quoted Rouhani as saying.

Rouhani, elsewhere, said expansion of relations with Latin American states, including Venezuela, is among foreign policy priorities of his government.

"Cooperation between Tehran and Caracas is beneficial to both the Middle East and Latin America and in the long run helps improve security and development there."

He also indicated Tehran's readiness for the export of goods and provision of technical and engineering services as well as investment in Venezuela.   

The president expressed hope that as a result of agreements which were supposed to be signed during the visit of his Venezuelan counterpart to Tehran, the two countries would see a rise in bilateral trade and investment and expansion of mutual cooperation in ship building and tourism.  

He also stated Iran can provide the "necessary assistance" to Venezuela in various spheres, including housing, road construction, industries, food and medical products.  Maduro said, "Iran is the standard-bearer of the fight against violence and extremism, and Venezuela is moving in the same direction, but on a smaller scale."  

He highlighted the "leadership role" of Iran when the country assumed the presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement and said, "Venezuela will take on the presidency of the NAM in the next term, that's why I request Iran to share its experience with Venezuela."

He also called for the resumption of direct flights between Tehran and Caracas, adding that the Venezuelan market has great potential and it can act as a platform for selling Iranian goods to the Latin American market.