View Full Version : Chavez And Ahmadinejad: Falling Dollar A Prelude To The End Of U.S. Imperialism

11-21-2007, 08:51 AM
Chavez and Ahmadinejad: Falling dollar a prelude to the end of US imperialism


The Associated Press
Published: November 19, 2007

TEHRAN, Iran: The leaders of Venezuela and Iran boasted that together they would be victorious over the United States, saying the fall of the U.S. dollar was a prelude to the end of American dominance in the world.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez paid a visit Monday to his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a show of the strength of their friendship, bound by opposition to Washington. The visit came after the firebrand duo unsuccessfully tried over the weekend to push OPEC away from trading in the slumping greenback.

The OPEC summit, in Riyadh, showed the limits of their alliance — their proposals were overruled by other cartel members, led by Saudi Arabia. But it also showed their potential for stirring up problems for the U.S. and its allies.

The alliance between Chavez and Ahmadinejad has blossomed with several exchanged visits — Monday's was Chavez's fourth time in Tehran in two years — a string of technical agreements and a torrent of rhetoric presenting their two countries as an example of how smaller nations can stand up to the superpower.

"Here are two brother countries, united like a single fist," Chavez said upon his arrival in Tehran, according to Venezuela's state-run Bolivarian News Agency.

"God willing, with the fall of the dollar, the deviant U.S. imperialism will fall as soon as possible too," Chavez said after a two-hour closed meeting with Ahmadinejad, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.

"We must ask God to help us accelerate the end of the perverse empire of the United States," Chavez also told Venezuela's state TV, sitting next to Ahmadinejad.

As the dollar weakens, oil prices have reached a record high of US$100 per barrel. But Chavez warned over the weekend at the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that prices would more than double to US$200 if the U.S. attacks Iran or Venezuela.

"The U.S. empire is coming down," Chavez told Venezuelan TV, calling the euro a better option and saying Latin American nations are also considering a common currency.

Leftist Chavez is a fierce enemy of U.S. President George W. Bush, and Iran's Islamic government is in a bitter standoff with Washington over Tehran's nuclear program. The United States accuses Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapon, a claim Tehran denies, and Iran has come under U.N. sanctions for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment.

Ahmadinejad backed his "dear brother" Chavez in their joint plight against the Bush administration.

"We have common viewpoints and we will stand by each other until we capture the high peaks. God is with us and victory is awaiting us," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by IRNA. He said he and Chavez would stick together to defend their "nations and ideals to the end."

During the weekend oil summit, Iran and Venezuela proposed that OPEC begins pricing its oil in a basket of currencies, rather than just the dollar, and wanted the summit to specifically express concern over the dollar's slide in its final statement.

U.S. ally Saudi Arabia blocked the move, and the Saudi foreign minister cautioned that even talking publicly about the currency's decline could further hurt its value. But in an apparent compromise, the organization did direct its finance ministers to study the issue of the dollar.

Chavez repeated his warnings that attacking Iran would further increase oil prices. "It's very important that they leave us in peace, the major oil-producing countries," he said.

"If it occurs to Bush to invade Iran, I'm sure the Iranians will resist, and they aren't going to allow them to take away their oil, just as we Venezuelans wouldn't allow it," Chavez said.

Arriving Monday in Tehran for an hours-long visit, Chavez repeated his support to Iran's civilian nuclear program, poking fun at U.S. suspicions it is a cover to produce an atomic bomb.

"We demand respect for the sovereignty of Iran," Chavez also told Venezuela's TV.

"Iran has a right to have nuclear energy for peaceful uses," he said.

The two presidents signed four memorandums of understanding on Monday to create a joint bank, a fund, an oil industry technical training scheme and an industrial agreement, Iranian state television reported. Chavez said these deals came in addition to 186 previous agreements, which represent a total of US$4.6 billion in investment.

But, "soon we won't be talking in dollars," Chavez added, heading to an official farewell ceremony before leaving Iran.

On the previous Chavez visit in July, the two countries broke ground on construction of a jointly owned petrochemical complex in Iran, with 51 percent of it in Iranian ownership and 49 percent to be owned by Venezuela. The two also began construction of a second petrochemical complex in Venezuela, at a total combined cost of US$1.4 billion (€956 million).