Iran Rejects 'Unfounded' Comments By US On Aid To Venezuela

Tehran: I ran On Saturday he denounced recent US allegations that he was providing covert aid to help Venezuela overcome gas shortages as baseless without addressing them directly.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo last week said “multiple aircraft" belonging to I ran 's Mahan Air had transferred ”unknown support" to Venezuela 's government.

He called for flights to be stopped and for other countries to ban Mahan Air overflights.

The Associated Press reported last month that Mahan Air was delivering key chemical components used to produce gasoline to help revive a former refinery in the South American country, which is in the midst of a severe economic crisis.

Venezuela has been suffering from widespread gasoline shortages despite having the world's largest oil reserves.

Both I ran and Venezuela are under heavy US sanctions, and have had close relations for the last two decades.

I ran 's Foreign Ministry tweeted that the “baseless comments were made in order to prepare the ground for mounting US pressure on the Venezuela n government.” Another statement said the US intended to “obstruct the Venezuela n government's plan for reviving the country's refineries."

The statements did not directly address the allegations or detail the nature of the cooperation between the two countries.

The administration is pursuing a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at ousting Venezuela 's socialist president,, and considers opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the nation's legitimate leader.

The United States and a coalition of nearly 60 nations say Maduro is holding on to power after a 2018 election that critics consider a sham because more popular opposition politicians were barred from running.

The Trump administration imposed heavy sanctions on I ran after withdrawing from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.