Caracas.- U.S. officials disagreed with the opening of an Iranian supermarket in Caracas, saying Thursday that any Presence of Iran in the Western Hemisphere «is not something we see very favorably.» The acting undersecretary of the US State Department’s Office of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael Kozak, told reporters in a call that opening the supermarket shows that this is like an alliance between «parias» states.
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«I would really be surprised if Venezuela manages to make a lot of profit from Iran,» Kozak said in response to a reporter’s question about the supermarket. «Iran is willing to tinker, it’s willing to sell goods to Venezuela when Venezuela doesn’t really have the money to buy a big deal.» An Iranian freighter ship docked in the South American country in June with food for the new supermarket in Caracas, weeks after the Islamic republic sent five gas tankers to supply the nation in severe fuel shortages. Recent installments highlight a new and burgeoning relationship between the two countries in defiance of the severe financial sanctions imposed on them by US President Donald Trump’s government.The new Megasis supermarket in eastern Caracas was inaugurated wednesday amid a hardening of the coronavirus quarantine. The inauguration was a private ceremony attended only by Venezuelan government officials, as well as Iran’s diplomatic staff and businessmen, according to images that a journalist from the Telesur channel posted on her Twitter account.The supermarket plans to open to the public this week. Kozak described Iran on Thursday as «the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the world.»
Iran is not going to save Venezuela from the situation it has gotten into, but it does put itself in a more dangerous situation when playing these games,» he added.
Megasis is led by Iranian businessman Issa Rezaei, who runs a chain of 700 supermarkets in Iran.Rezaei said on Twitter on Tuesday that «our goal is commercial.» He also noted that he is buying products such as mangoes, pineapples and wood to bring them to Iran.Venezuela owns the world’s largest oil reserves, and President Nicolás Maduro’s detractors say that the fact that the country has to turn to Tehran for gasoline is a sign of the socialist government’s failure. The United States wants to overthrow Maduro and backs the representative’s political rival, Juan Guaidó.Maduro attributes many of Venezuela’s problems to U.S. sanctions and other measures that seek to undermine his rule. He claims that the United States wants to install a puppet government to exploit Venezuela’s vast resources.You may also be interested: