Chavez receives Iran's highest national medal

Published on Jul 31, 2006 04:29 AM IST

Iran has awarded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez its highest state medal for supporting Tehran in its nuclear standoff.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Tehran

Iran has awarded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez its highest state medal for supporting Tehran in its nuclear standoff, while the fiery leader urged the world to rise up and defeat the United States, state-run television in both countries reported.

Chavez said on Sunday that US President George W Bush is so evil that he must talk to the devil, and he condemned Israel for what he called the "terrorism" and "madness" of its attacks in Lebanon, Venezuelan state television reported.

Iran awarded the medal to Chavez to show its gratitude for his "support for Iran's stance on the international scene, especially its opposition to a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency," the Iranian station said.

In February, Venezuela opposed an IAEA decision to report Iran to the UN Security Council over its disputed nuclear programme.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented Chavez with the Islamic Republic Medal in a ceremony at Tehran University.

"He is the one who has resisted imperialism for years and has defended the interests of his and other Latin American countries," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Chavez arrived in Tehran on Saturday for an official two day visit.

A draft proposal Friday by permanent members of the UN Security Council gives Iran until the end of August to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

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