Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and his Iranian counterpart
Mahmud Ahmadinejad Sunday initialed a number of bilateral
investment agreements at a time when they are making attempts
at highlighting their anti-US stance.
"Is the US empire succeeds in consolidating its dominance, then the humankind has no future. Therefore, we have to save the humankind and put an end to the US empire," Chávez told a crowd at the Tehran University, as quoted by Reuters.
Chávez slashed out at Israel, a traditional enemy of Iran, for Tel Aviv attacks on Lebanon. Chávez labeled the offensive as "fascist and terrorist."
Ahmadinejad decorated Chávez with the "Higher Medal of the Islamic Republic of Iran". "Mr. Chávez is my brother, he is a friend of the Iranian nation and the people seeking freedom around the world," said Ahmadinejad. "He works perpetually against the dominant system. He is a worker of God and servant of the people."
Meanwhile, Iranian Oil minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh said the Iranian oil firm Petropars is to invest USD 4 billion in two Venezuelan energy projects -its largest investment out of Iran. Further, Venezuelan Energy and Petroleum minister Rafael Ramírez ratified in Tehran that Venezuela is considering cutting oil supply to the United States.
"Petropars is currently conducting oil prospection and drilling activities in an oil field in Venezuela, and it is soon to start prospection in another," Hamaneh explained.
"We have proposed Venezuela to participate in the construction of a joint Iran-Indonesia refinery in Indonesia," he added.
LOPEZ CASE HRW endorsed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' call on Venezuela to release Leopoldo López.
LOPEZ CASE Without giving many details, Venezuelan Congress' Speaker Diosdado Cabello has claimed he saved opposition leader Leopoldo López's life, adding that there were no negotiations whatsoever days before the dissenter turned himself in to the Bolivarian National Guard earlier this year. "He (López) knew it (information about his possible assassination), too. Why did he turn himself in? He and his family were aware of that," said the legislator in an interview with daily newspaper El Universal.
HUMAN RIGHTS The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern on Monday at the continued detention of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, as well as more than 69 other people who were arrested in the context of public protests that took place across Venezuela over several months starting in February this year.