February marked the twelfth anniversary of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution: President Hugo Chavez took his first oath of office in 1999. Celebrations for the anniversary were organized in different countries, among them Iran. On this occasion, the Venezuelan Ambassador to Teheran, David Velasquez, took the opportunity to hail the Iranian-Venezuelan relationship, especially regarding "Imperialism".
On the day of this event, Velasquez also stated that Venezuela stopped selling gasoline to Iran; he said the country had become self-sufficient in fuel production thanks to the expansion of its petrochemical capacities. After signing a deal with Iran in 2009, Venezuela had been shipping 20,000 bpd of gasoline to Teheran despite international sanctions that blocked the import of pump-ready fuel. The sanctions, which became effective in mid 2010, aimed at hitting Teheran's need for importing refined fuel due to a lack of oil refineries..
According to The Institute for War and Peace Reporting, for the last five months, Iranian officials have been saying the country is no longer reliant on fuel imports "thanks to a development program launched two years ago to increase production and thereby cushion the country against a possible international ban on fuel sales". During the Friday sermon on February 4, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced that the country would no longer need to import fuel as of February 11, the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, and that Iran would even be able to export petrol.
After the inauguration of an expansion to an existing facility, Iran claims to have the largest oil refinery in the Middle East. Reuters, however, published interviews with traders saying that even though the Iranians "have boosted their production through using their petrochemical plants, they still are short of gasoline. The situation is getting very tight for them because of the sanctions, but they are still managing to import fuel." The Venezuelan paper El Universal reported that the state-run Venezuelan oil company delivered two shipments of fuel to Iran in February.
From the press:
- Venezuelans Celebrate Bolivarian Revolution in Tehran
- Venezuelan Ambassador Hails Tehran-Caracas Relationship
- Venezuelan Ambassador: Teheran and Caracas Should Join Forces Against Imperialism
- Venezuelan Ambassador: Iran No Longer Needs Venezuelan Fuel
- Venezuela Sells Fuel to Iran Despite International Sanctions
February 7, 2011
Venezuelans Celebrate Bolivarian Revolution in Tehran
The officials and staff of the Venezuelan embassy in Tehran held a celebration in Tehran's Goftogou Park […] to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Bolivarian Revolution and the Venezuela's Day of National Dignity. The ceremony was held in front of Simon Bolivar's bronze statue, which stands in the center of the Goftogou Park. Simon Bolivar (1783-1830), also called the Liberator, was a political leader who, when many parts of South America were ruled by Spain, fought against the Spanish army and won independence for Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Ecuador.
Representatives from the Iranian Foreign Ministry and a number of ambassadors and embassy staff and officials from the Cuban, Ecuadorian, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Bolivian, and Colombian embassies in Tehran also attended the ceremony. At the beginning of the ceremony, the attendees sang the Venezuela's national anthem, and the Venezuelan Ambassador to Iran, David Velasquez, laid a wreath at the Bolivar's statue. Afterwards, the ambassador made a short speech, paying tribute to the Liberator and recounting the history of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Venezuelan Ambassador Hails Tehran-Caracas Relationship
Velasquez talked about the achievements made during the presidency of Hugo Chavez, and criticized the "imperialists" for taking hostile actions and stances against the Venezuelan popular revolution.
He also enumerated the principles of the Bolivarian Revolution, which are promotion of popular democracy and economic independence, equitable distribution of revenues, and an end to political corruption. Elsewhere in his remarks, Velasquez hailed Tehran-Caracas relationship as friendly and close and said Iran and Venezuela are in the same front against the Western imperialism. […] Tehran Times (Iran)
February 6, 2011
Venezuelan Ambassador: Teheran and Caracas Should Join Forces Against Imperialism
Venezuelan Ambassador to Tehran David Velasquez highlighted the hostile policies practiced and pursued ever since the victory of the Bolivarian Revolution against Caracas by world imperialism, and asked Iran and Venezuela to join forces in the confrontation against imperialism.
"To fight against imperialism's violence and apartheid against our nations and to win this fight, we need the assistance of the regional countries as well as Iran," Velasquez said, addressing a ceremony here in Tehran today on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution, which saw Hugo Chavez assume presidency of the Caribbean nation. He stated that his country has experienced numerous problems and faced constant threats by imperialism throughout the last twelve years.
Also during the ceremony, the Caretaker of the Iranian Foreign Ministry's First Office for South American Affairs, Mehdi Faqih, lauded the growing ties between Iran and Venezuela; he said, "The two countries are surely in the same front in the campaign against the world arrogance, and will continue this fight." […] Fars News Agency (Iran)
February 6, 2011
Venezuelan Ambassador: Iran No Longer Needs Venezuelan Fuel
The Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran says that since Iran has attained self-sufficiency in gas production, Caracas has stopped exporting gasoline to it "Earlier last year Iranian officials informed us that 'we (Iran) have achieved self-sufficiency and no longer need to import gasoline," David Velasquez said on Sunday [February 6].
Velasquez added that Venezuela's Oil Minister, Rafael Ramirez, issued a formal statement about halting gasoline export to Iran […]. Ramirez said at the Friday press conference that Iran "has solved its problem" and does not currently need fuel. The Venezuelan oil minister added that cuts in subsidies have allowed Iran to bring down domestic consumption, and that Iran has also expanded "petrochemical capacities," […]
During a visit to Iran in September 2009, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that his country would provide Tehran with 20,000 barrels of gasoline per day. On Saturday [February 5], Iran inaugurated new gasoline production projects in the Shazand oil refinery in Arak.
Iranian Oil Ministry Massoud Mirkazemi said that in the first phase, the Shazand refinery would produce 2.5 million liters gasoline, and by the end of the year, the amount would reach 4 million liters. Mirkazemi added that by July, 12 million liters of Euro-5 standard-compliant gasoline would be added to the country's gasoline production capacity.
The Euro-5 is one of the European emission standards which define the acceptable limits for exhaust-emissions of automobiles. These emission standards are defined in a series of European Union directives which stage the progressive introduction of increasingly stringent standards. Press TV (Iran)
January 31, 2011
Venezuela Sells Fuel to Iran Despite International Sanctions
State-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (Pdvsa) is delivering two shipments of fuel to Iran, sources of the oil sector said. The Venezuelan firm is therefore supplying fuel to the Islamic Republic of Iran despite international sanctions led by the United States. The shipments will be delivered in February […].
"It is no surprise at all," one trader said. "Countries such as Venezuela or China do not care much about sanctions.". Major oil companies have halted business with Tehran, which depends on fuel imports because it lacks refining capacity. El Universal (Venezuela)