Iran is not forming an anti-US group with Bolivia and Venezuela,
said an Iranian senior diplomat on Saturday, according to reports
reaching here from La Paz.
"Nether Bolivia nor Iran nor Venezuela are forming blocs against
anyone," Safar Ali Eslamian, Director of the Latin America
Department of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, was quoted as saying by
Bolivia's newspaper La Razon.
He also defended Iran's nuclear program, saying his country only
wants to develop an alternative energy source instead of nuclear
Bolivian President Evo Morales earlier brushed off concerns
about close ties to a country that the US government says is a
sponsor of terrorism. Morales said "the international community can
rest assured that Bolivia's foreign policy is dedicated to peace
with equality and social justice."
Their remarks came after Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad
paid visits to Bolivia and Venezuela earlier this week.
Washington has accused Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons
under the cover of a civilian program, seeking tougher sanctions on
Iran through the UN Security Council.
Washington has never ruled out military action against Iran to
curb Tehran's alleged nuclear programs.
Iran, while strongly denying the US allegations, has insisted
that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Tehran has
voiced hope for talks to defuse the nuclear standoff with the
(Xinhua News Agency September 30, 2007)