Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (R) is welcomed with military honours at Maiquetia international airport in Caracas at the start of his Latin American tour. All four countries on his tour have frosty ties with the United States, and their leaders have in the past four years made numerous Tehran visits to build up diplomatic and business links (AFP/Juan Barreto)
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will meet with Hugo Chavez today in Caracas.
FOX News reported:
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Ahmadinejad smiled and waved but made no comments as he stepped off a plane Sunday evening at Simon Bolivar International Airport near Caracas. He was greeted by Vice President Elias Jaua and other Venezuelan officials.
The Iranian leader was scheduled to meet Monday with his longtime ally President Hugo Chavez, who was on a trip in eastern Venezuela on Sunday.
Several hours before Ahmadinejad’s arrival, Chavez rebuffed calls by U.S. officials for countries to insist that Iran stop defying international efforts to assess its nuclear program.
“What the empire does is make you laugh, in its desperation to do something they won’t be able to do: dominate this world,” Chavez said. “We aren’t a threat to anyone. We just have rights and we’re sovereign.”
The U.S. and its allies accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons under the cover of a civilian nuclear energy program. France has been pressing the European Union to impose additional sanctions.