Mérida, April 3, 2009 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez arrived in Teheran, Iran, on Wednesday night to deepen bilateral cooperation between the two countries, inaugurate a joint bank, and discuss the creation of bi-national mining companies.
On Thursday Chavez met with the Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the presidential palace, and will likely spend Friday and part of Saturday in the country as well.
In his seventh visit to the country, Chavez and Ahmadinejad will discuss and revise the 205 bilateral agreements that the two countries have in areas such as food, energy, education, culture, science and technology.
“Our countries should strengthen their commercial alliance in order to free ourselves from global free trade and to create fair trade,” Chavez said.
Ahmadinejad agreed, “Now that the world is changing, bilateral relations between Iran and Venezuela should be a model of fraternal and constructive relationships for other countries of the world.”
On Friday Chavez will attend the inauguration of the Irani-Venezuelan bank, which the presidents say should aim to create an alternative and independent structure to the international financial system and would hopefully help alleviate the effects of the financial crisis.
Both countries are contributing an initial $US 100 million each out of a total of $US 600 million each.
“We’ve already named a vice president of the bank,” Chavez told the press.
“The big banks of the world fell to pieces, but here a bank is being born, and over there in South American another bank is being born, as in the Caribbean there is….the Bank of ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas],” he said.
Iran and Venezuela are also evaluating the creation of two joint mining companies, one of which would be in Venezuela, and the other in Iran.
“We’ve already been working for years with the mining ministry of Iran. If you all know the amount of mining resources that we have discovered in the last few years you’d fall on your backs: gold, diamond, precious rocks and other minerals,” Chavez said.
“We, in the countries of the South, need to create some transnational companies that unite us, to confront the power of the transnationals of capitalism.”
Chavez also congratulated Iran, saying, “Today on the first of April is exactly 30 years since the national referendum here in Iran, in which the people were asked what regime they wanted, and 98% pronounced themselves in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We want to congratulate the people of Iran...for these thirty years of revolution.”
Guantanamo prisoners would be welcome in Venezuela
Before arriving in Iran, Chavez attended the Arab-South America Summit in Qatar, where he later talked on Al Jazeera TV.
In the interview he said the US run prison centre in Guantanamo bay, Cuba, is an expression of US imperialism and that Venezuela wouldn’t have any problems with receiving its prisoners.
Chavez called for the US government to return the territory in which it is run to Cuba.
On the show he also criticized US president Barack Obama and said that for the time being Venezuela wasn’t planning on re-establishing relations with Israel. However, he said he’d like to deepen relations with Egypt and to increase economic trade with it
Al Jazeera and Telesur (Television of the South) also signed a new cooperation agreement.