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Iranian, Venezuelan Leaders Pledge Cooperation On Low Oil Prices

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro in Tehran on January 10 that he supports cooperating to try to reverse the downward spiral of oil prices.

Khamenei described the "strange drop in oil prices" as a "political ploy and unrelated to the market" that he claimed was caused by "our common enemies."

Maduro stopped in Tehran during a tour of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to which Venezuela also belongs.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani said during an earlier meeting with Maduro that Iran and Venezuela can "undoubtedly cooperate to thwart world powers' strategies...and to stabilize prices at a reasonable level in 2015."

The approximately 50 percent plunge in crude oil prices since last summer has caused serious shortfalls in the budgets of oil-rich Iran and Venezuela.

Based on reporting by Reuters, IRNA, and The New York Times