Iran and Venezuela endorsed a new "roadmap" for their close bilateral relations by which they intend to increase economic exchanges and strengthen their political activities over the next decade.
The signing of the new "10-year strategic accord" on Saturday capped the official three-day visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to Iran during the course of an international tour that will also take him to Japan and China.
"The group of documents that we have signed are the line of departure. A line of departure for a roadmap that we two presidents have signed," Chavez said in a final statement along with his Iranian host and counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Chavez said that the new commitment is designed to accelerate the development of "two countries that are destined to become two powers of the 21st century".
"Two real powers to give shape to the multipolar world," Chavez emphasised to reporters at the presidential palace in Tehran.
The Venezuelan leader arrived in the Iranian capital last on Thursday from Qatar on a visit with a marked economic tone, during which he signed nine cooperation protocols and placed new development projects on the table.
Among the most noteworthy of his activities was the signing of a commitment for the Muslim country to exploit a petroleum deposit in Ayacucho, deep in the Venezuelan jungle.
In addition, studies were begun for the construction of two mixed-capital refineries, one in South America - presumably in Venezuela - and the other in Iran.
However, the main item on the agenda was the inauguration of the first binational bank, which will begin operating with a fund of $1.6 billion and will finance joint projects.
The visit concluded with a brief military ceremony at the presidential palace, from where Chavez departed for Tokyo, the next stop on a tour that some of his ministers have called "an investment."