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Iranian Leader Signs Accords With Venezuela And Bolivia

By VOA News

President Hugo Chavez, right, sakes hands with President Mahmud Ahmadinejad during a welcoming ceremony in Caracas, 27 Sep 2007 Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been greeted warmly by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as the Iranian leader arrived in Caracas late Thursday.

Standing on a red carpet at the presidential palace in Caracas, the two presidents - vocal critics of the United States - lashed out at the Bush administration, lauding what they called their fight against imperialism.

Mr. Ahmadinejad is making a brief trip to Bolivia and Venezuela following his address at the United Nations and speech at New York's Columbia University early this week.

The two South American countries have been developing closer ties with Iran in recent years.

In Bolivia Thursday, President Ahmadinejad signed a $1 billion agreement with President Evo Morales to develop Bolivia's energy, mining, and construction industries.

In addition to Bolivia and Venezuela, Iran is developing closer relations with Latin American countries Nicaragua and Ecuador.

The Iranian leader's brief trip to South America came two days after he told the U.N. General Assembly that Tehran will not suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the international community.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons - a charge Iran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

... Payvand News - 9/28/07 ... --

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