Chavez urges Europe to end support for US-backed sanctions against Iran


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez called for Europe to end its support for American-backed sanctions against Iran for its continued nuclear development. Chavez, an outspoken socialist, said US claims that Tehran is developing nuclear weapons is simply a “big lie.”

Chavez maintains that the American accusations are part of a plan for the United States to take control of Iran’s vast oil reserves. “I’m sure it’s just another excuse, another invention, another big lie by the imperialist government of the United States to justify any aggression against the Iranian people,” Chavez said in Paris. “Europe should not, in my opinion, follow its path.”

The Venezuelan leader was in Paris to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has sided with the US and labeled Iran’s nuclear program a threat to the world. But Chavez said Europe should be more worried about a possible US invasion of Iran. Nonetheless, “I’m sure the Iranians would be willing to withstand an attack by the US and... counterattack,” Chavez said.

Venezuela recently forged stronger bilateral ties with Iran, and Chavez met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this week. “Here are two brother countries, united like a single fist,” Chavez said. “Iran is an example of struggle, resistance, dignity, revolution, strong faith. We are two powerful countries. Iran is a power and Venezuela is becoming one. We want to create a bipolar world. We don’t want a single power.” (

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