Economic Ties

During Ahmadinejad’s first year in office, Venezuelan-Iranian trade ballooned from nearly $1 million to over $50 million. Bilateral trade slowed during the Rouhani presidency but has shown signs of recovery thus far under President Raisi. According to the June 2022 cooperative agreement, the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) launched a direct commercial shipping line to Venezuela. A barter system has developed to neutralize sanctions, with Iran providing gasoline, condensate, and technical support in exchange for gold, fuel oil, and Venezuelan heavy crude. Iran and Venezuela cooperate in a range of sectors, including energy, shipping, banking, automotive, and agriculture. Such cooperation tends to be geared towards evading Western sanctions, which have impaired both countries’ ability to sell oil on the global market, their procurement activities, and their access to financial services.