Iran General NewsChavez signs major energy deals with Iran

Chavez signs major energy deals with Iran

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AFP: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez left Iran late Wednesday after signing 11 deals focused on energy cooperation between the two major oil producers who are foes of the United States, state television said.

TEHRAN (AFP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez left Iran late Wednesday after signing 11 deals focused on energy cooperation between the two major oil producers who are foes of the United States, state television said.

Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad both denounced American “imperialism” and called for a “new world order,” during the visit, part of an international tour aimed at strengthening Venezuela’s economic ties with eastern Europe and the Middle East.

“We are united and determined to end the current unjust which dominates the world and replace it with a new world order based on justice,” the Iranian leader said.

The two sides signed several agreements, including pacts for a joint oil shipping company and joint construction of petrochemical plants, as well as Venezuelan participation in the exploitation of Iran’s South Pars gas field.

They also agreed to build a refinery in Syria, Iran’s main ally in the region.

Relations between Iran and Venezuela, two major oil-producing nations, have flourished under Ahmadinejad’s presidency, especially after the firebrand Chavez openly backed Tehran’s nuclear drive.

Ahmadinejad himself visited Venezuela in November in what was seen as an act of defiance against US-led efforts to step up sanctions against Iran for refusing to abandon its sensitive uranium enrichment programme.

Over the past five years, the two OPEC members have signed a series of agreements on oil and gas cooperation as the Iranian industry has been hit by pullouts by Western firms in the face of UN and US sanctions.

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