Iran and Venezuela will urge other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to lower oil production in a bid to bolster prices as cooperation between the two nations grows.
"There's too much crude on the market, so we support the decision to cut production and preserve the price of oil," President Chavez of Venezuela said after signing 11 economic, energy, and education accords in Caracas with President Ahmadinejad of Iran.
Iran and Venezuela, OPEC's second- and fourth-largest oil producers, face "the same imperialist push to control our oil resources," said Mr. Chavez, who this week stepped up plans to implement his own socialist program in Venezuela. "Our two revolutions, the Islamic Revolution and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, are in the end one, single fight."
The two leaders, meeting for at least the third time in six months, have deepened political ties through shared opposition to America and its policies in the developing world. Tonight, they unveiled plans to create a joint "strategic" investment fund to aid allies and finance development in their two nations.
"As brother governments, we have a responsibility to promote revolutionary thought on the world stage," Mr. Ahmadinejad said. "We have to be partners in the development of both our lands."
The pair, who in September agreed to invest as much as $10 billion on joint energy projects, also announced the creation of a joint venture between state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA, South America's largest oil company, and Petropars, a unit of Iran's state oil company National Oil Co., to explore, develop, produce, and sell oil on the international market.
They also agreed to explore cooperation in mining and tourism, to build a teachers' academy and Venezuelan yucca paste plant, and signed a tariff agreement to avoid double-taxation on trade between their nations, Venezuela's Bolivarian state news agency reported.
Mr. Ahmadinejad traveled to Nicaragua to meet with President Ortega last night and was due to attend the inauguration of Ecuador's president-elect, Rafael Correa, on today. Both Latin American leaders are close allies of Mr. Chavez, identified with his socialist economic reforms.
Mr. Ortega, who led Nicaragua's Sandinista revolution at the same time that Islamists took power in 1979 in Iran, nonetheless tempered his rhetoric to win re-election last December after 16 years out of office, appearing to warm to his country's largest investor, America.
Messrs. Chavez and Ahmadinejad "are putting together an anti-American, anti-globalization coalition," said Riordan Roett, director of Latin American studies at Johns Hopkins University 's School of Advance International Studies in Washington.
"They're able to set up an extraordinary synergy, but one that has no long-term importance because they're basically anti- historical," he said. "The world is not moving their way."
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