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Iran's Raisi hails 'new world order' in meeting with Maduro in Venezuela

Iran and Venezuela talked business as their economies continue to be battered by sanctions from abroad and skyrocketing inflation at home. 
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (L) receives a commemorative decoration from Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, after a joint press statement at Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, on June 12, 2023.

TEHRAN — Tehran and Caracas signed 19 cooperation agreements during Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Venezuela to start a five-day tour that will take him to Nicaragua and Cuba as well.  

At a press conference in Caracas late Monday, Raisi sat next to his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, and announced that the two sides had set a goal to push up their annual trade volume from a current $3 billion to $10 billion "at the first stage." The figure, he said, could well hit the $20 billion mark, according to his official website. The Iranian president did not specify the desired time frame.    

Raisi suggested that such a plan was part of Iran's greater strategy to expand relations with "freedom-seeking, independent" nations in an emerging "new world order."  

The ambitious trade goal was picked up by the hard-line Iranian daily Farhikhtegan. "The $20bn friend," the paper's headline read on Tuesday.  

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