Sunday, September 6, 2009

Iran & Venezuela Vow to Stand Together Against U.S.

"Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez railed against the West on Saturday, pledging to deepen their ties and stand together against the United States and world powers the two perceive as imperialistic.

Chavez is on an 11-day tour that has taken him to Libya, Algeria, Syria and Iran. The leftist Venezuelan leader is also to visit Belarus, Russia and Spain in the trip he has described as a bid to build a "multi-polar world" and counter U.S. influence.

After landing in Tehran late Friday - his eighth visit to Iran so far - Chavez said Iran is "a true strategic ally, a staunch ally" to his country and defended Iran's right to a nuclear program.

He praised Iran for standing up to alleged attempts by "Western forces" to destabilize it after the June presidential election that brought his ally Ahmadinejad a second term in office. These attempts have failed, Chavez said, and "Iran has been strengthened."

He was referring to the mass street protests by the Iranian opposition against Ahmadinejad's re-election - protests that Tehran has accused the West of sponsoring and which it has violently crushed, prompting worldwide criticism.

During Chavez's meeting Saturday with Ahmadinejad, Iran's English-language state Press TV quoted the Iranian president as saying their two countries have "important missions to help the oppressed and revolutionary nations and to expand the anti-imperialist front in the world."

"Time has passed for arrogant powers to have influence on revolutionary nations," Ahmadinejad said."

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