News ID: 269984
Published: 0315 GMT June 09, 2020

Venezuela receives Iran’s coronavirus aid

Venezuela receives Iran’s coronavirus aid

Venezuela said on Monday that a flight carrying humanitarian aid for the coronavirus pandemic had arrived from Iran, in another sign that ties between the Islamic Republic and the South American country – both targets of US sanctions – are strengthening.

“Right now, what we are receiving is different types of testing kits,” Planning Minister Ricardo Menendez said on state television, standing on a runway at the country’s Maiquetia airport near aid boxes piled on pallets.

The flight carried humanitarian aid for COVID-19 patients, including test kits and medical supplies, Menendez said.

He said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro will travel to Iran as soon possible as to thank it for the humanitarian aid and for crude oil it has recently sent to Venezuela.

Maduro had already announced plans to travel to Iran to sign energy, finance, military, agricultural, technology, and health deals.

Menendez said Venezuela and Iran were establishing "a broad development agenda" against "imperialism," which will include cooperation in the industrial, housing, and food sectors as well as scientific cooperation against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Iran’s Ambassador to Venezuela Hojjatollah Soltani said he was proud of the "brotherhood" with Venezuela "while our enemies try to sanction us."

“Today we are seeing the arrival of these materials to strengthen Venezuela in its fight against the coronavirus,” Soltani said.

Iran has sent five tankers full of oil to the South American country, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves, but is suffering from supply problems.

The fuel shipments helped revive oil refineries in the South American country, drawing the ire of the US, which has long been attempting to cripple the oil sectors of the two countries.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said last week that Tehran will continue to export fuel to Venezuela if the country requests more supplies despite threats by the administration of US President Donald Trump to take action against them.

The United States has warned governments, seaports, shippers, and insurers that they could face measures if they aid the tankers.

Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.



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