|Hugo Chavez, left, and Ahmadinejad called their relationship a “strategic alliance” [AFP]|
Venezuela and Iran have denounced US imperialism and called for a “new world order”, saying they are united in trying to eliminate western dominance in global affairs.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, and visiting Venezuelan counterpart, Hugo Chavez, were quoted by Iranian media as calling their relationship a “strategic alliance”.
“We are united and determined to end the current unjust which dominates the world and replace it with a new world order based on justice,” said Ahmadinejad on Wednesday.
“Iran and Venezuela are united to establish a new world order based on humanity and justice.
“We believe that the only result of bullying movements of imperialism all around the world, and especially in Latin America, will be the fast decline of imperial power,” Ahmadinejad said at a joint news conference, referring to the United States.
‘US military threats’
For his part, Chavez condemned what he called “military attack threats against Iran by some countries”.
“We know that they can never thwart the Islamic Revolution,” he said.
Chavez said this is a time of “great threats” that make it necessary to swiftly “consolidate strategic alliances in political, economic, technological, energy and social areas”, according to the state-run Venezuelan News Agency.
The Venezuelan leader said his government demands respect for Iran’s sovereignty and that “those who think they are most powerful and want to impose their will on the world respect Iran”.
Earlier the two leaders witnessed the signing of a series of deals focusing on cooperation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, trade and public housing.
The agreements signed include pacts for a joint oil shipping company and joint construction of petrochemical plants, as well as Venezuelan participation in the exploitation of Iran’s South Pars gas field.
The two sides also agreed to build a refinery in Syria, Iran’s main ally in the region.
Iran and Venezuela have over the past five years signed a series of agreements on oil and gas cooperation as the Iranian industry has been hit by pullouts by Western firms in the face of UN and US sanctions.
Chavez’s visit is part of an international tour aimed at strengthening Venezuela’s economic ties with eastern Europe and the Middle East.
He left Iran late on Wednesday and is due next to Libya and Portugal.
Iran has become the closest Middle East ally to Chavez’s government as the left-leaning leader has sought to build international alliances to counter what he sees as US economic and political dominance.