Monday, July 2, 2007
Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez met Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They pledged further cooperation of "independent nations."
The visit of Chavez to Tehran, Iran, followed earlier ones to Russia and Belarus. Iran's state-run television reported that Hugo Chavez stated to Khamenei that Iran was an apt model for other nations to emulate.
Chavez said that the two nations' ties in the petroleum, gasoline, and petrochemical sectors will be expanded.
In a reference to the recent political development in various parts of Latin America where anti-American leaders have attained political control, Chavez said, "U.S. imperialism is declining, and independent countries are viewing the future with hope and optimism."
Both Venezuela and Iran are members of OPEC.
Last month, Daniel Ortega, the president of Nicaragua, came to Iran. In the following months, Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, is expected in Tehran.
== Sources ==
"Iran, Venezuela bash US, seek stronger ties" — ABC News (Australia), July 2, 2007
Press Release: "Venezuelan President Meets the Leader" — Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, July 1, 2007