Chavez has been a familiar face in Tehran for a decade now. This week's visit will be his ninth since 2001, when he stated during his first trip to Iran that he intended “to prepare the road for peace, justice, stability, and progress for the 21st century.” Ties between the two countries only grew stronger after Ahmadinejad was elected in May 2005.
From the very beginning, the main thing that united these two populists was their shared condemnation of what they describe as “U.S. hegemony.” Chavez has been a staunch supporter of Tehran’s controversial nuclear projects and in 2008 declared Iran has a legitimate right to develop its nuclear program. At the same time, he said Venezuela is also “interested in developing nuclear energy.”
.. In May 2008, an Israeli website published a dossier purportedly drafted by the Israeli Foreign Ministry that detailed Iran’s activities in South America. Among other things, the dossier asserted that Venezuela has been supplying Iran with uranium. It also alleged that Tehran has set up Hezbollah cells in northern Venezuela and on Margarita Island.
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