Speaking at a meeting with Iranian expatriates residing in Caracas, Khatami said there is a unity between the nations and governments of Iran and Venezuela, adding that this unity will inevitably reduce the influence of certain world powers.
Stressing that Tehran-Caracas close relations will never harm any country, he said cooperation between Iran and Venezuela will be beneficial to both sides and can serve as a model for South-South cooperation.
Khatami described as wrong US policy to launch a military attack against Iraq, and said those who think they can impose their hegemony upon other countries are mistaken.
He said US officials should revise their policies toward Iraq and consider the realities.
Khatami said invading Iraq and the killing of civilians was not a proper solution to terminate Saddam Hussein's rule even through the Iraqi people were not satisfied with his regime.
He said US government is spending billions of dollars for the Iraq campaign from the taxes which the American people pay, and said the American people have already sensed that the money they are paying as taxes is spent for having US soldiers killed in Iraq.
"Just as we disapprove the killing of Iraqi men, women and youth, we are dissatisfied with the death of Iraqi soldiers," the Iranian president added.
Khatami referred to Venezuela's oil reserves and its special status in the Latin America as well as Iran's strategic position in the Middle East and said that mutual relations will secure the interests of both sides and the regional countries.
He declared the readiness of Iran to transfer its expertise in various fields to Venezuela and noted the significance of entering the Venezuelan market.
Khatami reiterated the need to encourage participation of the private sectors of both sides in each other's markets.
Concerning the recent referendum in Venezuela and the victory of President Hugo Chavez to be re-elected as president, he said that extensive public turnout at the referendum resulted in the failure of the interference of the foreign powers and the coup which was guided from outside Venezuela.
He urged the need to establish democracy in the country and noted that this would not be easily achieved and requires to be settled through time.
The president hoped that his visit to Venezuela will open a new chapter in cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
... Payvand News - 3/11/05 ... --