Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad currently on a visit to the three Latinamerican countries most vocal critics of United States said on Sunday that Nicaragua and Iran share common interests, common enemies and common goals
Ahmadinejad spent Sunday in Nicaragua where he arrived from Venezuela and Monday is scheduled to visit Ecuador to be present at the swearing in ceremony of President Rafael Correa, where he's expected to meet with Bolivia's Evo Morales. "We have common interests, common enemies and common goals" said Ahmadinejad as he visited shantytowns in Managua with the Nicaraguan leader, Daniel Ortega who took office last week. Ahmadinejad visit to three Latinamerican countries is interpreted as aimed at boosting ties with the region's most critical countries of the US, Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador as well as to garner support in the international debate over Iran's nuclear programme and its alleged interference in Iraq. In Venezuela the Iranian president signed cooperation agreements in several areas, energy, industry, housing, taxes and trade. "Welcome fighter of just causes, revolutionary and brother", said Chavez extending the red carpet to his Iranian counterpart. Ahmadinejad's visit comes four months after Chavez signed in Teheran a "strategic alliance" covering 29 fields supported by a joint fund of two billion US dollars. Iran and Venezuela are also members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) and support keeping oil prices high. "Our responsibility is to promote revolutionary thinking in the world", said Ahmadinehad emphasizing that "all of today's problems can be tracked to the incorrect guidance of the world's powerful countries". Although Iran and Venezuela have little in common besides oil, both countries have become strong allies as a result of their confrontations with United States. Ahmadinejad's visit to Latinamerica coincides with a new clash with Washington over its nuclear program and alleged interference in Iraq's affairs. In Nicaragua, --together with Haiti the poorest countries in the region--, Ahmadinejad promised support for the manufacturing of farm and transport equipment, food industries, petrochemicals, cement, electricity and wind energy. But although praised in Venezuela and cheered in Nicaragua, Ahmadinejad's visit to Ecuador has triggered controversy. Israel's ambassador in Quito said that the presence of the Iranian president is not in line with "the fraternal and friendly spirit of Latinamerican countries towards Israel and the cause of the Jewish people. The Iranian president is a declared "anti-Zionist" who blames all Middle East problems on Israel and has on several occasions called for Israel to "be swept from the face of the earth" or moved to Germany "if all the stories about the Holocaust are true". According to the Argentine press, this attitude has also caused problems for President Kirchner who tomorrow will be represented in Quito for Correa's inauguration by vice president Daniel Scioli. Argentina and Iran are not in the best of relations since an Argentine judge issued arrest warrants for several past leading officials from the Teheran regime allegedly involved in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish institution in Buenos Aires that killed almost a hundred people. The Argentine diplomacy also fears that eclectic President Chavez might come up with the idea of having a picture taken of all presidents who will be present in Quito, Monday.