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Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez defended his close ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying there was "no proof" that Iran is trying to develop atomic weapons.

The two leaders met in Caracas on Monday on the first leg of a four-nation tour that will also take Ahmadinejad to Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.

The visit comes after the US imposed tougher sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme, which Washington believes Tehran is using to develop weapons.

Al Jazeera’s Adam Raney reports from Caracas.

Source: Al Jazeera