Iran President Hails 'Successful, Fair' Election in Venezuela


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has commended the recent "successful, peaceful and sound" presidential election in Venezuela, saying it was a "great victory" for the Latin American government and nation.

The Iranian president sent a message to Nicolas Maduro on Saturday to extend his congratulations to him on his re-election as Venezuelan president.

"Without a doubt, the successful, peaceful and fair execution of the election, under economic sanctions and threats by foreign powers, is considered a great victory and achievement for the government and people of Venezuela," Rouhani said.


He reaffirmed the Islamic Republic's deep solidarity with the Venezuelan people and government and expressed hope that the two countries would witness further expansion of "cordial and all-out" relations through joint efforts during Maduro's term in office.

Venezuela's leftist leader Maduro won a new six-year term on May 20 in an election rejected as “illegitimate” by his main rival, who has demanded that a repeat vote be held later this year.

Maduro, 55, who replaced Hugo Chavez after his death from cancer in 2013, was sworn in as Venezuela’s president on Friday.

Following Maduro’s election, the United States dismissed the presidential election as a "sham" and imposed new sanctions on Caracas on Monday.

On Tuesday, the Venezuelan president ordered the expulsion of US chargé d'affaires Todd Robinson and deputy head of mission Brian Naranjo and declared both of them "persona non grata" in response to Washington's latest round of sanctions.

"They must leave the country in 48 hours in protest and in defense of the dignity of the Venezuelan homeland ... Enough of conspiracies!” he said.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi called on foreign sides on Monday to respect the vote of the Venezuelan people in the country's presidential election and support the establishment of political stability and economic development in Caracas.

Qassemi said, "Holding the election and its result despite domestic pressure and foreign threats and sanctions is a big success and victory for democracy in Venezuela and the country's government and nation."