Tags: Ahmadinejad | Chavez | tlaks | Venezuela | ties

Ahmadinejad Arrives in Venezuela for Chavez Support

Wednesday, 25 November 2009 11:24 AM

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Venezuela on the latest stop of a regional tour aimed at boosting ties with supporters of Iran's controversial nuclear program.

Mr. Ahmadinejad arrived in Caracas late Tuesday and was welcomed at the airport by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro.

The Iranian president and his Venezuelan ally, President Hugo Chavez, are due to meet Wednesday. Both leaders are known for their anti-American rhetoric. They are expected to discuss business cooperation between their two nations.

Mr. Ahmadinejad was in Bolivia's capital, La Paz, earlier Tuesday for talks with Bolivian President Evo Morales, another Iranian ally. Both Venezuela and Bolivia have backed Iran's nuclear program, saying Tehran has a right to peace nuclear energy.

Western nations suspect Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons and have demanded that it stop sensitive nuclear work.

An organization representing Venezuela's Jewish community, the Confederation of Israelite Associations of Venezuela - CAIV, issued a statement denouncing the visit of the Iranian president, citing his denial of the Holocaust and calls for Israel's demise.

The organization described Mr. Ahmadinejad as an "ominous character" who could do serious harm to humanity. Earlier, members of Bolivia's Jewish community staged a hunger strike to protest Mr. Ahmadinejad's visit.

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Wednesday, 25 November 2009 11:24 AM
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