Venezuela, Iran seek to boost ties

September 6th, 2009 - 6:24 am ICT by IANS  

Tehran, Sep 6 (EFE) Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Saturday agreed on a roadmap over the next 10 years to boost economic and military ties between the two countries.
Chavez is heading a business delegation to Iran as part of his two-day visit to the Islamic country.

“Iran and Venezuela share the important mission of helping oppressed and revolutionary nations,” Ahmadinejad told a joint press conference with Chavez. “The time when arrogant powers could influence revolutionary nations is over,” he said.

Chavez described Iran as a strategic ally and defended its right to develop a peaceful nuclear energy programme.

“We are convinced that Iran, as it has shown, will not stop seeking to obtain what is a right of its people - to have the equipment and structures to use atomic energy for civilian purposes,” Chavez said.

“There’s no proof whatsoever that Iran is building a (nuclear) bomb,” he said. “Soon they will accuse us of also building a bomb,” he said, adding that his government is working on a plan to build a “nuclear zone” in Venezuela with Iran’s help.

The US, Israel and the European Union have accused Iran of trying to make atomic bombs in the garb of a civilian nuclear programme. Iran has however rejected that view.

The two countries have already signed at least 200 cooperation agreements in sectors ranging from oil, housing, industry, health and technology, among others.

Plans are also underway for joint military projects as well as construction of ethanol plants, houses, vehicle assembly plants and ships in Venezuela, diplomatic sources said.

“Iran and Venezuela can look to cooperate in different international scenarios by applying the bilateral accords that have been signed,” the Press TV quoted Ahmadinejad as saying Saturday.

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