Ahmad Sobhani said that the Venezuelan government is constitutional and legally elected, adding that there have been two elections in the country to elect the president and the parliament speaker. Both of these elections were held within a single mechanism, but the US-educated parliament speaker is now claiming presidency and has declared himself president saying the incumbent president who has been elected under the same circumstances is illegal.

“If we look at the issue with this same mechanism, in the US House of Representatives, if the Congress and the Senate stand on the opposite sides, they can reject the other side under the same logic and claim the presidency,” he explained. This does not comply with political logic.

Sobhani continued: “America is a domineering state which acted behind a mask or as put by the Supreme Leader used to wear a “velvet glove” in the past, but now it has removed the mask and directly intervenes in the affairs of an independent country. If this prevails worldwide, it will be very dangerous for all the countries. That any great power considers a region its sphere of influence and wants to intervene in all kinds of coups and makes intelligence spending to overthrow a legitimate government is the basis of a wrong approach that can be frustrating for many countries, even US allies.

The former Iranian ambassador to Venezuela emphasized that the recent US move to block Venezuelan government property was illegal and a sign of bullying.

Stating that the recent actions of the United States were not a show of power, he said: “The US has made all kinds of interventions in Venezuela, ranging from supporting military coups to oil sabotage and cyber warfare but has not achieved its goals. This time they have resorted to blocking property but again they will not succeed in this attempt.”

Sobhani continued: “Along with Venezuela, we have Cuba, which has no resources at all but has been able to resist the United States for decades. As the previous US administration admitted, the sanctions against Cuba did not work. These US moves will strengthen the Venezuelan people who have very rich resources, and I hope that the Venezuelans will be able to foil this latest American scheme by using their resources.

Commenting on future developments in Venezuela in view of the US interventions, he said: “The unipolar system in the world is coming to an end, and today we are facing a new generation of economic Cold War. Today, two nations that have the veto power in the UN Security Council support the positions of the Venezuelan constitutional government, and this will not allow the United States to do anything in the name of the international community.

Noting that Venezuela is one of the richest lands in the world, the former Iranian ambassador to Venezuela noted: “Freshwater, the world’s future debate topic, is abundant in this country. Venezuela has a river that in some places is twenty kilometers wide and its minimum width is one kilometer. Some may call it a lake, but in my opinion, it is a river as it flows to the ocean. Most people in the world know Venezuela as a country with the world’s largest oil reserves, while Venezuela’s water reserves are very rich. In addition, the country has rich resources of gold, diamonds, emeralds, iron and more.

Sobhani continued: “In the past, Venezuelans even imported potatoes, garlic, and onions, and almost all of their foodstuff was imported. The current situation is an opportunity for them to be independent in these areas because they have all the resources. Venezuela has a lot of resources, they have to tap into those potential resources, and in that case, the United States will be defeated.

“Venezuelan society is a divided society,” he said. “They may be half in favor and half against the government, but the difference between the two groups is that the government supporters are united but the opposition is not. As the US Secretary of State Pompeo said there were at least forty people claiming leadership after Maduro. That is why Americans have so far failed to succeed.

The former Iranian ambassador to Venezuela said the Venezuelan issue was an internal issue and that the opposition and its supporters had to resolve their issues domestically. “If they want to tie their issues to the big powers of the region, the outcome would be what we are witnessing today. The suffering the people of Venezuela are enduring today is because a group of people is vesting hope in outsiders and support the sanctions while the sanctions only hit the people.

He emphasized: “What has always been said in the Islamic Republic’s positions is that Venezuelan internal affairs must be resolved by the people themselves and internally.”

About the future of US competition with other powers in Venezuela, Sobhani said: “Venezuela has the world’s largest oil resources, freshwater, diamonds, and gold and so on. In Venezuela today, Russia and China have high interests and they will not forego these interests easily. If these conditions continue and turn into a war of the big powers, it will ultimately harm the Venezuelan people.