Iranian, Venezuelan leaders rebuff US

2012-01-10 11:34

Caracas -Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lavished praise on each other on Monday, mocked US disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal.

Despite their geographical distance, the fiery anti-US ideologues have forged increasingly close ties between their fellow OPEC nations in recent years, although concrete projects have often lagged behind the rhetoric.

"One of the targets that Yankee imperialism has in its sights is Iran, which is why we are showing our solidarity," Chavez said during a joint press conference. "When we meet, the devils go crazy," he said, mocking US warnings that Latin American nations should not help the Islamic Republic.

But the two countries signed only vague co-operation accords and Chavez gave few signals that Venezuela would seek to undercut toughened sanctions over Iran's nuclear programme by providing fuel or cash.

They appeared to cautiously avoid statements on sensitive issues including Iran's threat to close the Straight of Hormuz, a shipping channel crucial for the global oil trade.

Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela at the start of a tour intended to shore up support as expanded Western economic sanctions take effect over Iran's nuclear program.

"The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time," Chavez said in a ceremony to welcome Ahmadinejad at his presidential palace in Caracas.

The two men hugged, beamed, held hands and showered each other with praise.

"President Chavez is the champion in the war on imperialism," Ahmadinejad said.

Big atomic bomb

The agreements include an economic co-operation deal that offered few details and another relating to nanotechnology.

They did not include any arrangement for Venezuela to provide fuel to Iran, which in the past led Washington to impose relatively mild sanctions on the South American nation, or any economic lifeline to Iran which now faces threats to its all-vital oil income.

Venezuela's oil minister said the Organisation of the Oil Exporting Countries, or OPEC, did not plan to make any statement about the sanctions.

As he often does, the theatrical and provocative Chavez stuck his finger right into the global political sore spot, joking that a bomb was ready under a grassy knoll in front of his Miraflores palace steps.

"That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out," he said, the two men laughing together.

US officials from President Barack Obama down have expressed disquiet over Venezuela's close ties with Iran. They fear Chavez will weaken the international diplomatic front against Iran and could give Tehran an economic lifeline.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of aiming to produce a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is only for power generation and other peaceful purposes.

As well as Venezuela, Ahmadinejad plans to visit Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador - a tour that Washington has said shows its "desperation" for friends.

"You're going to the axis of evil, Ahmadinejad," Chavez joked, referring to allied Latin American countries that have openly confronted the United States.


Those nations' governments share Chavez's broad global views, but do not have Venezuela's economic clout and are unable to offer Iran any significant assistance.

Regional economic powerhouse Brazil, which gave the Iranian leader a warm welcome when he visited during the previous government of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was notably absent from his agenda this time.

Ahmadinejad, who is subordinate to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on foreign policy and other matters, has said little about the rising tensions with the West, including the sentencing to death of an Iranian-American man for spying for the CIA. The United States denies that the man is a spy.

"The only bombs we're preparing are bombs against poverty, hunger and misery," added Chavez, saying Iranian constructors have built 14 000 new homes in Venezuela recently.

Ahead of hosting Ahmadinejad, Ecuador's government also offered moral support, pledging to ignore Western sanctions.

"We say with clarity that we do not accept those sanctions," Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters.

"We are a sovereign nation, we don't have dads punishing us and putting us in the corner for behaving badly. They [the US] should instead be sanctioning the US companies doing massive business in Tehran like Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola."

  • Paulus - 2012-01-10 11:49

    With madmen like these two in charge of countries, who knows what can happen. They talk about "imperialist madness", while they themselves are nuts.

      Dirk - 2012-01-10 14:27

      International clowns- unfortunately murderous,dangerous and not very clever. With fools like this "leading" countries,the world is becoming increasingly dangerous. And with 89 Russian Nuke "suitcase" bombs missing---

      Barry - 2012-01-10 19:30

      This is a bit off the subject I know Why isnt USA bombing the illegal drug producing countries in South America exporting to the USA ? At least in South America they have proof. In Iran they have NO proof of anything

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 19:48

      Because US banks are making a killing in laundering billions belonging to the cartels. Before any idiot jumps on the anti-Graziella bandwagon, read up on the matter about drug cartels and their relationship with some of the major US banks like Chase.

      Barry - 2012-01-10 20:42

      @Graz...Well I have read up. So I cannot argue with you as we are on the same page. :) I thought I would ask the question.

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 21:54

      The extent of indoctrination in the west is more complete than in soviet Russia, at least the Russians knew they were being lied to all the time.

  • John - 2012-01-10 11:56

    Why didn't these 2 idiots get an invite to the ANC bash? Nearly every other looney head or ex head of state was.

  • Michele - 2012-01-10 12:03

    I wonder which nation out of Iran, Venezuela and the U.S will have the last laugh ?

  • Leon - 2012-01-10 12:05

    yes iran will have a bomb soon I believe the USA will drop them one

  • rod.vandeventer - 2012-01-10 12:08

    America has made toooo mannnyy enemies

  • Graziella - 2012-01-10 12:11

    Ignore those damn sanctions I say. An injury to one is an injury to all. South Africa is in solidarity with you and your people. Let the Europeans, Americans and their side kicks stop doing business with Iran if they want to. There are other emerging economies around the world who have no problem with Iran.

      Heiku - 2012-01-10 12:21

      you should change your name to ystermyt

      adrian.berghoff - 2012-01-10 12:36

      How ignorant you are. "An injury to one is an injury to all." Tell me, why do you think the Dalai Lama was refused a VISA? Answer: Because of Chinese pressure. This country's government is as much of a joke as it is a pupper/slave to foreign powers. Iran should be disarmed, and if they are indeed producing nuclear devices for "peaceful purposes", why be so covert about it?

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 12:43

      Tibet has been a part of China for more than a thousand years., whether you like it or not, same as Taiwan. Who cares if Iran gets the bomb or not. If Iran uses it, Iran disappears. Likewise if the US hit China, the US will disappear. That is what nuclear weapons are for....balance. They ensure that your country doesn't get attacked.

      Justin - 2012-01-10 12:57

      Nope, but we'll continue to sit on the proverbial fence, and be friends with everyone. To be honest, we simply don't have the clout to have an opinion that matters to the world powers, so we'll just be mates with all nations and all religious factions, so that when the bombs do start dropping, they don't drop on us. We're the rainbow nation of chameleons...

      Kobus - 2012-01-10 13:08

      Looks like New24 forgot to get rid of this irritating troll. Go graze somewhere else Graziella ! :(

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 13:12

      The SA government is not sitting on the fence. The alliance lines have been drawn long before developing countries had a say in intl matters. We have an economic allaince with BRICS, a political alliance with the NON ALLIGNED MOVEMENT nations which we are chairing. The west has NATO, WTO, IMF,EU, etc.

      adrian.berghoff - 2012-01-10 13:33

      "If Iran uses it, Iran disappears. Likewise if the US hit China, the US will disappear. That is what nuclear weapons are for....balance. They ensure that your country doesn't get attacked." NO ONE wins a nuclear war. We all lose... the priority of the international community as a whole should be to avoid, as much as possible, any sort of nuclear incident.

      Justin - 2012-01-10 13:35

      Balance? Oh crap. SA got rid of our Nuclear weapons and our nuclear weapons program, and the only attacking SA is getting is from the inside. There has to be a world order. If big daddy wasn't there, all those naughty kids would would go ape. The problem is that big daddy needs to change and be more inclusive. No longer should the US be able to push their own agendas, through mis-guided and corrupt presidencies, upon the UN and NATO. But this will only happen when member states actually stand up for what they believe in rather than compromise their own morality by supporting the US for fear of isolation.

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 13:59

      @Adrian The NPT requires that member states make efforts to disarm or reduce their arsenal, non of which have complied. Look at the UK's recent nuclear deterrence review programme (google it). The other nuclear countries haven't signed this treaty, what are their intentions. @Justin Iran acquiring nukes would probably on balance be a good thing for the world. The disadvantages of another small incident of proliferation weighed against a counterbalance to Israel's and the US's unhealthy dominance of the region and a deterrence to further rogue state aggression by the US. If you ask ordinary people in the ME not its power holders, the majority want Iran to have a nuclear bomb, because they are looking for a power which can stop the continuous interference and aggression by the West against them. If the nuclear bomb is the only possible deterrent against an attack by the West, so hope they get it soon before it is too late. Something profound however shows that there is a much stronger and more viable power which can radically change the balance of power and that is people around the world who are getting closer to the thought that they can and they must come out and stop the killing machine of the West. Moreover, if the US wants to stop nuclear proliferation, it would be a good idea to stop invading countries that don't have them, but leaving countries that do have them in peace.

      Dirk - 2012-01-10 14:33

      You also hang on to your Chinese colonial masters? Watch the bubble burst. 65 % of Chinas GDP, comes from the US consumers.Emerging economies. A nice and diplomatic language for for the beggars of the world- it use to be called the third world. They have just become politically correct- invariably a lie.

      Dirk - 2012-01-10 14:38

      Graziella- Your "views" here goes a long way to explain why Africa is permanently in a fallen state and why they are the beggars of the world. With a name like that, are you a illegal from Mozambique or Angola?

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 14:52

      Where is the Chinese equivalent of The East India Company? The Opium Wars? The colonisation? I don't see them. If China wants to trade, aid, and invest in other economies, then it has every right to do so. I personally think the era of uni polar dominance by the US has been an utter disaster.

      adrian.berghoff - 2012-01-10 15:02

      The Chinese are Communists. The Chinese have an APPALING human rights record. The Chinese exploit their population. If you'd prefer to be one of their lickspittles, go right ahead... take the government with you. I, however, would prefer to be autonomous and independant. If you want the Chinese to run the world, I feel sorry for you. Your writing reeks of someone who has been brought up in an Eastern/Communist mentality. Here's a newsflash for you: COMMUNISM DOES NOT WORK. Furthermore, back to the issue... no country in today's world will dare to fire a nuclear weapon, for any reason, because the entire international community will turn on them. We are all human and in this together and Iran/Venezuela/their allies are instigating and arguably war-mongering by their attitude.

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 15:22

      China is about business not spreading communism or proselytizing any form of religion or ideology. The US always tries to introduce democracy and with it always comes Christian missionaries, it's understandable for Africa to prefer China. European organisations have now reinvented themselves as enforcers and defenders of White supremacy. On a global crusade, NATO brutally enforces neo-colonialism worldwide under the guise of ‘spreading democracy’ and ‘humanitarian intervention’ America need not fire nuclear weapons, they've pretty much been able to supress other countries who couldn't defend themselves by using their army.

      Blade - 2012-01-10 15:32

      "emerging economies" is that PC speak for useless corrupt failed 3rd world states?

  • ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-10 12:30

    These idiots are playing with the lions balls, he's gonna get pissed at them and then watch thenm change their tunes.

  • George - 2012-01-10 12:43

    That Iranian fellows eyes are too close to each other and the other bloke is a fat useless turd.

      Bones - 2012-01-10 14:29

      That Iranian fellow has more intelligence than you do my friend. You judge a book by its cover, and only the uninformed idiots of the worlds acts as stupidly as that. I do not support Iran, or the US for that matter, but the fact is that he is intelligent and learned enough to have achieved the highest office of his land (or second highest). Do not underestimate the "enemy", that will be the cause of your downfall.

  • Graziella - 2012-01-10 13:16

    Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington's policies fades away. Some people want to dominate others. To engage in domination they must have a "plan". They must convince others that their "plan" is meaningful. In the US they call it "foreign policy". US foreign policy is to dominate the world and control all of the world's valuable resources. Those who support this foreign policy believe that the policy will not only benefit Americans but will benefit everyone, especially the third world nations that are suffering from starvation, drought, disease, poverty, and violence. The US right wing admits that they believe in US exceptionalism. They see nothing wrong with that. US foreign policy of domination and exploitation.

      Blade - 2012-01-10 15:35

      How about the US foreign policy of aid? The billions of dollars that they haven given to poor nations? Who helped Haiti in their time of need? Iran? Iraq? You are so stupid it is actually sad.

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 16:01

      What Africa needs is trade and not aid, getting rid of import tarrifs and farming subsidies. The conscience masturbation that is Western aid has been utterly corrosive of African states, all too often lining the pockets of a corrupt ruling class and reducing the populations to a state of dependency. It has been nothing but corruption facilitation.

      Blade - 2012-01-10 17:11

      Hahaha even when they try help you critisise them. You can only spew rhetoric and hatred. Just like your pathetic masters. So you blame the giver for the corruption of the reciever. Typical victim mentality. Is always somebody elses fault isnt it?

      Graziella - 2012-01-10 17:39

      The problem with idiots like you Blade is that you have no idea of most of the things you respond to. Read about the subject "Development Aid", I have done so and know very well its implications on the developing world. Then come back here when you have reached a knowledgable level which would occasion the notion you are a....person....worth the time and space you occupy. That would be all.

      adrian.berghoff - 2012-01-11 09:15

      Your comments are becoming farcical. Where is your political science degree? Your degree in economics? You sound like one of those conspiracy theorists, always looking for some hidden meaning that isn't there. "What Africa needs is trade and not aid, getting rid of import tarrifs and farming subsidies." Tell me, will this help those who are starving? Those who need medicine? The countries struggling to provide? NO. Africa needs both aid and trade, and the cold, hard, inescapable fact is that such services are rendered by the first world countries. You evidently have a problem with America and everything it represents. Sure, they aren't perfect and don't always do the right thing, but if you were South Korea for example, you'd much rather have a protector/benefactor. Or you could mimic the North and lean on China, completely unable to be self-sufficient. As for "corruption facilitation" that happens in every country. It is a human condition, simple as that. I have done economics, so I know what I am talking about. You are so insistent on being an independant and autonomous state... why don't you just pack up and go out to the East? I hear North Korea is particularly nice at this time of year. Also, a little hint... proof-read your stuff before posting. Its all fine and well to use nice words, but you look pretty dumb when your basic grammar is incorrect and you've omitted words. That will be all, dismissed.

      Ask - 2012-01-16 15:22

      @Graziella - If I was 20 years younger; I would propose to you... honey you are awesome... I love reading your posts... to hell with anyone that does not agree with you...

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