|arya||Date: Tuesday, 10-January-2012, 9:51 AM | Message # 1|
|(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lavished praise on each other on Monday, mocked U.S. disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal. |
Despite their geographical distance, the fiery anti-U.S. ideologues have forged increasingly close ties between their fellow OPEC nations in recent years, although concrete projects have often lagged behind the rhetoric.
"One of the targets that Yankee imperialism has in its sights is Iran, which is why we are showing our solidarity," Chavez said during a joint press conference. "When we meet, the devils go crazy," he said, mocking U.S. warnings that Latin American nations should not help the Islamic Republic.
But the two countries signed only vague cooperation accords and Chavez gave few signals that Venezuela would seek to undercut toughened sanctions over Iran's nuclear program by providing fuel or cash.
They appeared to cautiously avoid statements on sensitive issues including Iran's threat to close the Straight of Hormuz, a shipping channel crucial for the global oil trade.
Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela at the start of a tour intended to shore up support as expanded Western economic sanctions take effect over Iran's nuclear program.
"The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time," Chavez said in a ceremony to welcome Ahmadinejad at his presidential palace in Caracas.
The two men hugged, beamed, held hands and showered each other with praise.
"President Chavez is the champion in the war on imperialism," Ahmadinejad said.
The agreements include an economic cooperation deal that offered few details and another relating to nanotechnology.
They did not include any arrangement for Venezuela to provide fuel to Iran, which in the past led Washington to impose relatively mild sanctions on the South American nation, or any economic lifeline to Iran which now faces threats to its all-vital oil income.
Full article/source - http://in.reuters.com/article....0120110