AFP: Iran’s top Latin America diplomat denied that his country was forming an anti-US bloc with Venezuela and Bolivia, two countries that support Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. LA PAZ (AFP) Iran’s top Latin America diplomat denied that his country was forming an anti-US bloc with Venezuela and Bolivia, two countries that support Tehran’s disputed nuclear program.
“Neither Bolivia nor Iran or Venezuela are forming blocs against anyone,” Safar Ali Eslamian, director of the Iranian foreign ministry’s Latin America Department, was quoted as saying Saturday in La Razon newspaper.
“We have decided to have a different way of life, we are not against them,” he said, referring to the United States.
Eslamian’s remarks came after Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s lightning visits to Bolivia and Venezuela this week to meet with Bolivian counterpart Evo Morales and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
In La Paz, Ahmadinejad and Morales signed a joint statement recognizing “the rights of developing nations to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.”
Bolivia recently re-established full diplomatic relations with Iran and their growing ties have raised concerns in Washington.
The United States and its European allies fear that Iran seeks to build an atomic bomb under the guise of its civilian nuclear program, a charge that Tehran vehemently denies.
Eslamian insisted that “Iran does not want nuclear weapons” and merely wants to develop an alternative source of energy as its huge oil reserves will not last forever.
In Caracas, Ahmadinejad and Chavez signed cooperation deals and criticized US “imperialism.”