Venezuela has plunged into political crisis after Juan Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, declared himself interim president on Wednesday, triggering massive anti-, -pro government protests.
On Friday, the top Iranian diplomat in a phone conversation with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Tehran supports the legal government in Venezuela and the country's people in the face of all plots, particularly those hatched by the United States.
The Iranian and Venezuelan foreign ministers discussed possible avenues for countering the US plots against independent countries, particularly Venezuela, through international channels, Press TV reported.
Zarif and Arreaza also exchanged views about ways to strengthen negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition groups and find a political solution to the ongoing conflict between the two sides.
At least 10 countries, including Russia, Turkey and Iran, have expressed their support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and condemned outside interference in Caracas.
China, which has backed Venezuela’s sovereignty, said it opposed any outside interference. Bolivia, Mexico and Cuba all supported the Venezuelan president.
Maduro on Friday ordered the closure of Venezuela’s Embassy and consulates in the US after Washington threw its weight behind Guaido.
During a lengthy speech at a special session at the Supreme Court, the Venezuelan president censured US President Donald Trump for seeking to orchestrate a coup against his government and backing the self-declared leader.
The US has a long record for “regime change” campaigns in Venezuela and other countries. In 2002, the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, was ousted for two days in a US-backed coup which was ultimately defeated.
Maduro was sworn in for a second term earlier in January, after a vote marred by an opposition boycott and claims of vote-rigging.
Oil-rich Venezuela is currently mired in economic turmoil, with people grappling with hyperinflation, power cuts and shortages of basic items.
Maduro and his supporters accuse the US for being behind the country’s economic crisis, saying Washington is plotting to topple the government.