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.