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Iran, Belarus Pledge Cooperation in Dealing With International Pressure


The leaders of Iran and Belarus have pledged joint action to oppose attempts by foreign states to exert pressure on individual nations.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told reporters in Minsk no country has the right to use its power to exert pressure in relations with another state. He said both he and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, oppose the development of a world dominated by a single country. The Iranian leader spoke as he concluded a two-day visit to Belarus.

Mr. Lukashenko thanked the Iranian president for his pledges of assistance to Belarus in dealing with its energy problems. The two leaders Monday signed a deal on joint development of Iran's Jofeir oil field.

Belarus is seeking to develop new energy sources, after a pricing dispute with Russia briefly interrupted cross-border energy supplies.

Western officials have widely criticized Mr. Lukashenko for his government's poor human rights record and for its ongoing crackdown on the independent news media, frequently referring to the Belarusian leader as Europe's last dictator.

Mr. Ahmadinejad is locked in a stand-off with the West over Iran's suspected nuclear program.

The United Nations Security Council has imposed limited sanctions on Iran for its refusal to halt its uranium enrichment efforts.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, Reuters.

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