Iranian, Venezuelan Leaders Rebuff U.S., Joke About Bomb [View all]
By Andrew Cawthorne and Brian Ellsworth
CARACAS | Mon Jan 9, 2012 6:56pm EST
(Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez lavished each other with praise on Monday, mocked U.S. disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal.
"Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever," the Iranian president told Venezuela's socialist leader Chavez at the start of a visit to four left-leaning Latin American nations.
Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela at the start of a tour intended to shore up support as expanded Western economic sanctions kick in over the Islamic Republic's nuclear program.
"The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time," Chavez said in a ceremony to welcome Ahmadinejad at his presidential palace in Caracas.