In Venezuela, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad & Hugo Chavez Slam U.S., Joke about Nuclear Bomb
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad kicked off a four-country Latin American trip with a visit to Venezuela, where he and that country’s leftist leader, Hugo Chavez, lavished each other with adoration and joked about having a nuclear bomb and targeting Washington, D.C.
Reuters reports that the two friends met in the Venezuelan capital Caracas and spent much time praising each other and mocking the United States and its sanctions regime against Iran.
“Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever,” Ahmadinejad told the leftist Venezuelan leader.
“The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time,” Chavez said, slamming the U.S.
Ahmadinejad hailed Chavez as “the champion in the war on imperialism.”
The Venezuelan leader, a popular socialist who was targeted by and survived a U.S.-backed coup during the Bush administration, then joked about a hot topic– Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program. Chavez said that there was already a bomb under a hill in front of his Miraflores palace.
“That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out,” he said as the two leaders laughed it up. “The imperialist spokesmen say … Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflores basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles. … It’s laughable.”
While the U.S. asserts that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, Iranian leaders claim they’re only developing nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, which is within their rights as a sovereign state. U.S. Secretary of State Leon Panetta as well as a former head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency say that Iran is not trying to build nukes, only nuclear capability.
“The only bombs we’re preparing are bombs against poverty, hunger and misery,” Chavez asserted, pointing to the 14,000 new homes built by Iranian contractors in Venezuela.
He might have added that Venezuelan-owned oil company CITGO is providing free heating oil to some 400,000 needy Americans in 25 states and more than 250 homeless shelters.
In addition to Venezuela, Ahmadinejad will visit Cuba, Nicaragua and Ecuador, where the government offered moral support and vowed to ignore Western sanctions against the Islamic republic.
“We say with clarity that we do not accept those sanctions,” Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told Reuters. “We are a sovereign nation, we don’t have dads punishing us and putting us in the corner for behaving badly. They (the U.S.) should instead be sanctioning the U.S. companies doing massive business in Tehran like Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.”
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