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Venezuela’s Chavez criticizes sanctions on Iran

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Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (R) and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad laugh as they watch TV during a visit at Miraflores Palace in Caracas June 22, 2012. REUTERS/
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez (R) and Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad laugh as they watch TV during a visit at Miraflores Palace in Caracas June 22, 2012. REUTERS/

CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticized international sanctions on Iran during a meeting with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  

Chavez said that Iran faces, as he put it, “obstacles imposed by imperialism, blockades, threats, unilateral sanctions.”

The two leaders pledged to keep building closer ties, though they didn’t mention specific initiatives.

Chavez has previously defended Iran’s controversial nuclear program, saying he believes the Iranian government is simply pursuing peaceful energy uses.

Iran has been seeking relief from growing UN and other sanctions, including international embargoes on its oil sales.

Both leaders are staunch critics of the US government and said during Friday’s meeting in Caracas that they hope to work together to counter what they called “imperialism.”

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