Iran says the conflict gripping Venezuela could be best resolved through dialogue without any foreign interference as tensions escalate between warring sides in the oil-rich South American country.
Speaking on Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called on the Venezuelan government and the opposition to keep calm and act within the framework of law.
“Avoiding violence and turning to dialog in a calm atmosphere without foreign interference is the best way to resolve rifts and serve the interests of all Venezuelan people,” Qassemi said.
The Islamic Republic stresses the strong bonds of friendship between the Iranian and Venezuelan nations and governments, while condemning the recent attack on the country’s Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry, he added.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that such illegal and violent acts against legal and legitimate bodies and structures not only complicate the situation in the country but toughens the process to reach an agreement and settle issues through dialogue and negotiation,” Qassemi pointed out.
Venezuela has been the scene of intense anti-government protests since early April. Clashes between security forces and demonstrators have left at least 75 people dead.
On Tuesday, a Venezuelan police helicopter strafed the Supreme Court and the Interior Ministry.
A police officer identified himself as Oscar Perez in a video posted on the social media platform Instagram, saying that he had piloted the stolen chopper to attack what he called a “criminal government.”
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro denounced the incident as a terror attack, saying it could have caused dozens of deaths.
“Sooner rather than later, we are going to capture the helicopter and those behind this armed terrorist attack against the institutions of the country,” Maduro said.
Venezuelan demonstrators are demanding general elections, freedom for hundreds of jailed opposition activists and measures to alleviate the country’s economic crisis.
Maduro accuses the protesters of seeking a coup against him with the US government’s support.