Skip to comments.Iran president cements anti-U.S. front with Venezuela
Posted on 09/17/2006 5:30:23 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shored up opposition to a U.S. drive to curb Iran's nuclear program on a visit to Venezuela on Sunday that cemented an anti-American front with President Hugo Chavez.
Ahmadinejad's first trip to Venezuela highlighted Iran's backing for the fellow OPEC country's bid for a U.N. Security Council seat that Chavez would use to challenge Washington's campaign for international sanctions against Tehran.
Chavez, who Washington calls a destabilizing, anti-democratic force, cast the visit as two countries jointly defying what he says is the imperialist aggression of the world's only superpower.
"Iran is one of the emerging countries of Asia, the Middle East. Venezuela is one of the emerging countries of Latin America," he told a state-owned TV network. "It is a union that seeks a balance in the world and to save the future of your children, my children and our grandchildren."
Buoyed by high oil prices that underpin their popularity at home and tapping into anti-American sentiment around the world, both presidents are awkward foes for the United States.
"Two revolutions are giving each other a hand," Chavez said at the capital's airport where he welcomed Ahmadinejad, walking with his arm across the visitor's shoulders.
Iran established an Islamic republic after a 1979 revolution that ousted a U.S.-backed leader and Chavez says he is creating his own revolution to overturn capitalist and U.S. influence in the South American country.
Iranian-Venezuelan ties have previously focused almost exclusively on cooperation as major oil exporters, but the leaders emphasized their new bond in standing up to America.
"Nowadays, we have common goals and interests," Ahmadinejad said. "We have to be united ... to achieve peace and justice."
"I salute all the revolutionaries who oppose world hegemony," he added in an apparent reference to the United States.
The presidents did not focus on the nuclear issue, preferring to stress economic pacts, including a project to quantify Venezuelan oil reserves.
NEXT STOP NEW YORK
Ahmadinejad's two-day stop in Venezuela is sandwiched between a trip to Cuba for the summit of Non-Aligned Movement countries, which called on developing nations to challenge U.S. dominance, and a visit to the United Nations in New York.
At the world body's general assembly, Ahmadinejad will lobby for Iran's right to develop nuclear programs it says are for peaceful power generation despite Washington's assertion Tehran is trying to build an atomic weapon.
Chavez will press for a Security Council seat against a U.S. campaign supporting Venezuela's rival, Guatemala.
Chavez accused the United States of a smear campaign against Venezuela and Iran, saying it was spreading lies that Ahmadinejad's visit was to secure Venezuela's uranium for its nuclear programs.
"They don't get tired of lying," he said.
Limiting Iran's nuclear programs and curbing the socialist influence of Cuba ally Chavez are among Washington's top foreign policy priorities.
But Larry Birns of the Washington-based thinktank, the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, said the United States has little to fear from the countries' closer ties.
Venezuela will keep supplying crucial oil to its main market, the United States, and if it wins a rotating U.N. seat, its vote will not be key, said Birns, who is sympathetic to some of Chavez's anti-U.S. stances.
"This is a visit that is a statement of solidarity rather than any plan for action," he said.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (L) is welcomed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at Miraflores Palace in Caracas September 17, 2006. Ahmadinejad shored up opposition to a U.S. drive to curb Iran's nuclear program on a visit to Venezuela on Sunday that cemented an anti-American front with Chavez. (Miraflores Palace/Handout/Reuters)
Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and al-Reuters. It's a marriage made in the funny pages.
Wait! Jimmeh isn't there yet - and this was supposed to be a threesome! In their beach cabana on Margarita Island...
That anti missile sytem could as easily take out planes, right? Why dont we test it on two or three, or heck a bunch more as they fly from Havanna to NY?
That one is GOOD!
Hi DC, good to see you!!
It's good to be seen. lol
Good to see you, too. ;o)
Oh well, 'face waves' travel, lol.
Let's enjoy cheap gasoline while it lasts.
We get 14% of our oil from Chavez which represents 80% of his output. We get 0% of our oil from Iran.
We have enough oil in the SPR to withstand a conflict with Iran (a closing of the Straits Of Hormuz) and a cut-off by Chavez.
It's not as simple as "we don't get oil from Iran". Iran and Chavez can easily cause a world-wide shortage which will increase prices including prices from places we do get oil from. Likewise Iran and Mini-Me can blockade the Straits causing further shortages. Yup we have the SPR which when dipped into must be replaced at market prices and we should know by now that wars often last longer than anticipated.
Agreed. It won't be a 'cake-walk,' but survivable.
Tyrants and dictators are enemies of freedom and liberty.
Pat Robertson was right about Commie Chavez.
Perhaps it might even be "good medicine" in the long run.
If we go to war with Iran, Russia has threatened to cut off oil to the eastern EU and the US.