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  HOME | Main headline

NEW AGREEMENT: Venezuela and Iran to Build Refinery in Syria
The accord was signed by Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and Iranian counterpart Masoud Mir Kazemi at the end of a meeting in Tehran in which 10 other bilateral cooperation agreements were inked, several involving projects in the energy sector

TEHRAN – Close allies Iran and Venezuela have signed an agreement to build an oil refinery in Syria, the latest stop on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s tour of the region.

The accord was signed by Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez and Iranian counterpart Masoud Mir Kazemi at the end of a meeting in Tehran in which 10 other bilateral cooperation agreements were inked, several involving projects in the energy sector.

Those deals included a memorandum of understanding between the OPEC members’ respective state oil companies – Venezuela’s PDVSA and Iran’s Petropars – to develop joint oil and gas projects.

Another agreement was reached between PDV Marina, PDVSA’s shipping subsidiary, and Iran’s IRISL Group, to create a maritime oil transport firm that will enable Caracas to sell more than 500,000 barrels of crude in Europe and Asia.

Iran also has pledged to build 50,000 homes in Venezuela to help alleviate a housing shortage in the South American country.

Chavez on Wednesday concluded a two-day official visit to Tehran aimed primarily at strengthening bilateral cooperation in the energy sector. The trip came as Iran’s oil industry is feeling the squeeze of international sanctions slapped on the country due to its nuclear program.

The visit was the leftist president’s third to Iran in the past 18 months and the ninth since he took office in 1999.

The bilateral relationship has strengthened – both ideologically and on the economic front, with bilateral trade now totaling close to $5 billion annually – since Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power in 2005. EFE
 

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