Maduro Assures Iran’s President-Elect Venezuela Will Be a ‘True Friend’ to Terrorist Regime

TOPSHOT - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro arrives to a military parade to celebrate t

Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro held a phone call on Wednesday with the president-elect of Iran, Masoud Pezeshkian, ensuring the leader that the Latin American country would continue to seek ways to strengthen ties with the world’s premier state sponsor of terrorism.

Pezeshkian won a sham election orchestrated by the true head of the rogue government of Iran, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Sunday, in which he had presented himself as a “moderate” voice against “hardliner” candidate Saeed Jalili. The election was a runoff following the first round of voting on June 28. Pezeshkian surprisingly came in first place but did not exceed the 50-percent support threshold necessary to avoid a runoff.

All elections in Iran are planned to ensure Khamenei’s handpicked winner, as a “Guardian Council” of clerics bans unwanted candidates from the ballot and the regime has total control over the process of vote tallying and election oversight.

The elections were held by necessity following the death of incumbent President Ebrahim Raisi in May. Raisi, a “hardliner” who dedicated most of his presidency to killing and otherwise silencing peaceful anti-regime dissidents in the country, died in a mysterious helicopter crash in May.

Prior to his death, Raisi dedicated much of his foreign policy to increasingly geopolitical activities alongside Latin America’s most brutal communist and socialist dictatorships. Venezuela is Iran’s closest ally in the region; Raisi visited Caracas a year ago to discuss, among other issues, cooperation in the oil industry and opposing the influence of the United States around the world.

Pezeshkian assured Maduro that his administration would not change Iran’s foreign policy away from prioritizing Venezuela. According to Iran’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Pezeshkian took the opportunity of the phone call to invite Maduro to Iran and promise an in-person meeting in the near future.

“The two officials expressed interest to hold a meeting at the highest level in the future in a bid to further expand mutual ties,” IRNA reported. “The president-elect stated that the Islamic Republic of Iran and Venezuela have common challenges and ideals, including the desire for freedom, independence, and justice, and they have a common view and position on the Palestinian issue and support for the oppressed people of Gaza.”

“Undoubtedly, my government also aims to broaden cooperation with Venezuela,” Pezeshkian affirmed.

Maduro responded by promising that his regime would “remain your true friend and companion” and express confidence in Pezeshkian’s ability to run the office of the presidency.

Venezuela confirmed the phone call through an official readout from the Foreign Ministry summarizing the exchange between the two illegitimate rulers. Maduro, the ministry said, “congratulated him on his recent electoral victory and they ratified the brotherly character of the relationship between the two countries.”

“Both leaders expressed their will to keep working together to push forward the long-term strategic relationship, committing to a high-level meeting soon, and continuing, in this way, plans for cooperation and shared development,” the readout concluded.

The Iranian state-run PressTV outlet added that Maduro reportedly offered Pezeshkian “absolute support” in his position as president, which is subordinate to the “supreme leader.”

Ensuring Venezuela that Iran would still support its regime is the latest in several public overtures that Pezeshkian has made undermining his own campaign, in which he appeared to criticize the Iranian regime in veiled terms and offer a vague promise of change to the population.

Pezeshkian was especially critical of Raisi’s brutality against protesters and the collapse of the Iranian economy as a result of sanctions largely imposed during the term of former President Donald Trump, the current frontrunner in the 2024 American presidential election.

“We are losing our backing in the society, because of our behavior, high prices, our treatment of girls and because we censor the internet. People are discontent with us because of our behavior,” candidate Pezeshkian once said.

Immediately following confirmation of his “victory,” however, Pezeshkian offered Khamenei assurances he would not stray from the policies under Raisi. In exchange, the top leaders of the Iranian armed forces signaled they would not defy Pezeshkian.

“I, hereby, announce the readiness of the scientists and servicemen in the field of defense and science and technology in the Ministry of Defense in all-out cooperation and protection of the achievements of the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said following the election.

Pezeshkian soon thereafter began expanding his conciliatory messages internationally. One of his first phone calls abroad was to the head of the Iranian proxy terrorist organization Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, in which he declared, “the Islamic Republic has always supported the resistance of the people of the region against the illegitimate Zionist regime.”

“I am certain that the resistance movements in the region will not allow this regime to continue its warmongering and criminal policies against the oppressed people of Palestine and other nations of the region,” Pezeshkian promised.

Iran and Venezuela began greatly expanding their bilateral relationship under late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, who forged a personal relationship with his then-counterpart Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Maduro has maintained those ties through economic cooperation. Iran and Venezuela are both crude oil powerhouses struggling with significant industry problems: Iran faces widespread sanctions for its support of terrorism, while socialist incompetence and an unprecedented migrant crisis has left Venezuela with few functional oil refineries and other facilities.

Under Raisi, Iran addressed the latter promise with an agreement revealed in February 2023 for the state-owned National Iranian Oil Refining and Distribution Company (NIORDC) to help the analogy Petróleos de Venezuela )PDVSA) revamp its largest refining complex, left largely in disrepair by socialism. The two reportedly signed a contract worth nearly $500 million to restore the complex.

In June 2023, during Raisi’s visit to Caracas, the two countries agreed to build a technology office in Venezuela. Raisi used the opportunity to celebrate Iran’s ability to “turn the pressures and sanctions into opportunities, and in this way has provided various capacities that are ready to be shared with the resilient nation of Venezuela.”

“Iran is playing a stellar role as one of the most important emerging powers in the new world,” Maduro said at the time. “Together we will be invincible!”

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) warned in March that Iran’s relationship with Venezuela had expanded into military cooperation.

“Iran uses Venezuela as its home base in South America. Iran delivers weapons to Venezuela by air and sea that are very well capable of hitting U.S. territory,” the IDF explained in a video published that month. “For example, the Iranian Mohajer 6 UAV that was displayed during a recent military parade in Venezuela has a flight time of 12 hours and a range of 1,200 miles, placing U.S. cities like Miami well within striking distance.”

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