Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wrapped up a two day visit to Iran with a flurry of official agreements and rhetorical broadsides denouncing the United States. Chavez, visiting Iran for the ninth time as President, lauded his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and proclaimed that bilateral ties are “solid and very, very deep.” Ahmadinejad stated that “Iran and Venezuela are united to establish a new world order based on humanity and justice.” The Iranian president, always eager to make a veiled threat, warned: “The enemies of our nations will go one day. This is the promise of God and the promise of God will definitely be fulfilled.”
Officials signed 11 agreements promoting co-operation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, and trade. The two governments agreed to set up a joint oil shipping company, jointly construct petrochemical plants, and Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA committed to assist in the exploitation of Iran’s South Pars natural gas field. If it follows through on this vague commitment, the Venezuelan firm could trigger U.S. sanctions that are aimed at reducing Iran’s ability to finance terrorism, develop nuclear weapons, and build-up its ballistic missile arsenal.
Tehran remains defiant on the nuclear issue and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Wednesday announced that Iran continues to enrich uranium beyond the 3.5 percent level required for nuclear power reactors. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi claimed that “So far almost 30 kg of 20 percent fuel has been produced” since Iran began enriching uranium to higher levels in February. The regime insists that the more highly enriched uranium is needed to power a medical research reactor, despite the fact that Iran lacks the means to convert the 20 percent material into reactor fuel rods and is more likely advancing toward 90 percent enrichment in order to arm a nuclear weapon.
Determined to blacken the eye of “imperialism” [read the U.S.], both Chavez and Admadinejad clearly fail to understand the Obama Doctrine and recognize that we live in a world in which “old hatreds will pass,” where “the yearning for peace is universal,” and “power is no longer a zero-sum game.”
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal