Iran, Venezuela plan Syrian refinery

Venezuela and Iran are planning to construct a petroleum refinery in Syria capable of processing 150,000 barrels a day, Venezuela's oil minister has said.

    Chavez (R) views Iran and Syria as allies

    'We're studying [planning] an oil refinery in Syria,"said Rafael Ramirez, during an official visit to Venezuela by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, on Monday

     

    Venezuela's relations with Iran and Syria have strengthened under Hugo Chavez, it president, who views the Middle Eastern nations as important allies in his efforts to build what he calls "multi-polar world" no longer dominated by the United States.

     

    Ahmadinejad's first trip to Venezuela also highlighted Iran's backing for the fellow OPEC country's bid for a UN security council seat that Chavez would use to challenge Washington's campaign for international sanctions against Tehran.

     

    Chavez said Ahmadinejad's visit showed that the two countries were jointly defying what he says is the imperialist aggression of the world's only superpower.


    "It is a union that seeks a balance in the world and to save the future of your children, my children and our grandchildren," Chavez told a state-owned TV network.

     

    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.

     

    A deepening alliance

     

    Iranian-Venezuelan ties have previously focused cooperation as major oil exporters, but the leaders emphasized their new bond in standing up to America.

     

    "Nowadays, we have common goals and interests," said Ahmadinejad, who repeatedly called his counterpart by his first name. "We have to be united."

     

    "I salute all the revolutionaries who oppose world hegemony," he added in an apparent reference to the United States.

     

    Under Chavez, Venezuela - the world's fifth largest oil exporter - has reduced its refining assets in the United States while expanding operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

     

    Petroleos de Venezuela SA, Venezuela's state-run oil company, has recently bought a stake in a small Argentine refinery, signed a deal to double capacity at a Uruguayan refinery, revamped a Cuban refinery and laid the cornerstone for a $2.5 billion refinery in Brazil last December.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.