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Iran, Venezuela Cement Alliance Against US
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad welcomed the ties of brotherhood that unite his country and Venezuela on Monday, pledging the two nations would stand united against "bullying and expansionist powers", a clear dig at the United States.

Speaking at a joint press conference with his Venezuelan counterpart and political firebrand Hugo Chavez in southern Iran, Ahmadinejad described the two countries' relations as profound, extensive and durable and brotherly while calling Chavez a revolutionary and decisive man.

He noted that long-lasting cooperation and solidarity between Iran and Venezuela would be beneficial to both nations, underlining that "there resides no impediment to the expansion of the two countries' relations."

"Iran views the might and progress of Venezuela as it does its own... the two governments and nations are moving hand in hand towards construction and with maximum power and strength," said the Iranian president.

The two countries, while being located continents apart in the Gulf and the Caribbean, stood firmly together in reiterating their "anti-American alliance" during Chavez's visit.

"Viva Iran and Venezuela and all revolutionary nations and death to the enemies," Ahmadinejad said. "For those who are upset with the friendship of nations, we have just one sentence which is, if you are angry with the nations' friendship, go die of this anger and sadness," he added.

Ahmadinejad and Chavez had earlier traveled to the southern Iranian port city of Assaluyeh to celebrate the start of construction on a joint petrochemical plant. Monday also saw the two delegations ink three cooperation agreements principally tackling the oil and energy sectors.

This rounded out Chavez's two-day visit to Iran, his third in two years, which seeks to boost political and economic cooperation between two of the leading global critics of the US.

(Xinhua News Agency July 3, 2007)

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