President of Iran Visits Venezuela and Signs Economic Agreements

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, arrived in Caracas late Thursday where he met with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The two discussed the importance of unity and cooperation and signed several bilateral agreements.
Venezuela's President Chavez and Iran's President Ahmadinejad present new cooperation agreements they signed late Thursday night.

Mérida, September 28, 2007 (— The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, arrived in Caracas late Thursday night for a short meeting with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Both leaders emphasized the importance of unity and cooperation in the "fight against U.S.Venezuela and Iran. imperialism" and signed several more bilateral agreements to build joint projects in Venezuela and Iran.

"The Venezuelan and Iranian people, and their leaders, have great responsibilities in the world arena," said the Iranian leader. "Together we can multiply our power and truly no one will be able to defeat us," He assured that a "bright future will belong to the revolutionary nations, and imperialism has no other option but to respect our nations and their sovereignty."

The Venezuelan president responded by calling the Iranian leader a "great anti-imperialist fighter" and stated that his visit to Venezuela was of "great importance."

The two leaders have made significant efforts in recent years to strengthen union and cooperation between their countries. Both countries are member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and are united in their opposition to the government in Washington.

Since President Ahmadinejad was elected in 2005 the two leaders have met on six occasions, both in Iran and in Venezuela, and have signed economic and energy agreements that involve around $17 billion. Most agreements have centered on building joint oil and industrial projects, including petrochemicals, the auto industry, and oil refineries.

On this occasion, the agreements they signed include the installation of nine corn-processing plants in Venezuela with Iranian technology, part of the new initiative of the Venezuelan government to increase the production of corn and corn flour in the country. These plants for processing corn will be placed in corn-producing regions and run by the surrounding communities.

Another of the agreements is for the establishment of an industrial complex for the production of auto parts in the central state of Carabobo. The agreement was signed between the Iranian company Behsazin and the Venezuelan Ministry of Communal Economy with the intention of supplying national industry with nationally produced auto parts.

A third agreement has to do with the petrochemical industry and allows for the construction of two plants for the production of methane gas, one in Iran and the other in Venezuela.

The Iranian President had to leave immediately after the meeting but assured he would be visiting again soon. He apologized for the short visit and promised a longer visit in the future. He promised that Caracas and Tehran would remain in support of "all the revolutionary countries in the world," and mentioned Nicaragua, Cuba, and Bolivia, where he visited immediately before his visit to Venezuela and signed agreements with President Evo Morales.

"Together we will continue to support all the oppressed nations and we will continue resisting imperialism until the end," he declared.

Iranian authorities have said the support Chavez has given to the "peaceful use of the nuclear energy" on the part of the Iranian regime has been "very important" in the struggle against international pressures. Chavez has said on many occasions that all countries, including Venezuela, have the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful means.

In response to President Ahmadinejad's recent visit to New York and to protests against him there, Chavez assured the Iranian leader that he has Venezuela's support and admiration.

"Here we witnessed once again your great gift of statesmanship, your dignity, your courage. We have all felt truly proud to be your brothers and to share together the path of the revolution, the path of dignity, the path of the struggle against imperialism," he said.

In response to the University of Colombia President Lee Bollinger's statement that the Iranian President is a "small, cruel dictator," Chavez defended the Iranian leader. "Instead of small, you are one of the biggest anti-imperialist fighters of this change of era, said" Chavez. He then congratulated Ahmadinejad for fighting for the "justice that the people of the world desire."