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Iranian Leader Visits Venezuela, Bolivia


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made a brief visit to Venezuela, where he met fellow U.S. critic Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Mr. Chavez greeted the Iranian president warmly upon his arrival in Caracas late Thursday from Bolivia.

Standing on a red carpet at the presidential palace in Caracas, the two presidents lashed out against what they described as imperialism.

Iran's state-run news agency, IRNA, says the countries signed three agreements on cooperation in energy and industry. It said Mr. Ahmadinejad left Venezuela after a formal send-off ceremony.

The Iranian leader visited South America following his address at the United Nations and a speech at New York's Columbia University.

Earlier, in Bolivia, the Iranian president pledged $1 billion in investment.

In addition to Bolivia and Venezuela, Iran is developing closer relations with Nicaragua and Ecuador.

Tuesday, Mr. Ahmadinejad told the U.N. General Assembly Tehran will not suspend uranium enrichment as demanded by the international community.

The United States and its allies accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons - a charge Iran denies.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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