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CARACAS, Monday July 31, 2006 | Update
 
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Chávez decorated in Iran; initials cooperation pacts
  NUEVOMEDIA
Monday July 31, 2006  10:47 AM

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.

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