CNN: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is set to arrive in Iran Monday night to discuss the expansion of relations between the two countries, according to Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency.
By the CNN Wire Staff
Tehran, Iran (CNN) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is set to arrive in Iran Monday night to discuss the expansion of relations between the two countries, according to Iran’s semiofficial Fars News Agency.
His visit comes on the heels of stops in the Russian Federation and Belarus, where the Venezuelan leader signed economic cooperation deals, which included an agreement with Moscow to build Venezuela’s first nuclear power plant.
With its burgeoning nuclear program, Iran has shown interest in uranium deposits in Venezuela.
Chavez will stay for two days in Tehran, and will be accompanied by a Venezuelan delegation, Fars said.
He will meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other officials. Chavez and Ahmadinejad are also expected to discuss regional and international issues, Fars said.
Chavez’ visit to Tehran comes almost a year after the Iranian leader’s November 2009 trip to Venezuela.
The communist Venezuelan President and the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran have cultivated warm relations publically, exchanging hugs and referring to one another as “brother.”
In 2009, Chavez welcomed Ahmadinejad with full military honors.
“We are here to welcome you, brother Ahmadinejad. Leader. Brother. Comrade,” Chavez said.
Ahmadinejad, in return, called Chavez “a brother, who is resisting like a mountain the intentions of imperialism and colonialism.”
Chavez is among Ahmadinejad’s top supporters in Latin America, both leaders finding common ground in their opposition to U.S. foreign policy.
President Hugo Chavez began his diplomatic trip Thursday to seven countries across Europe and Asia, according to Venezuelan state news agency AVN.
Before arriving in Iran, Chavez is to make his first ever visit to Ukraine, AVN said. Syria and Portugal are also on Chavez’ itinerary.
CNN’s Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.