Bolivia Moving Mideast Embassy to Iran

A00219804.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Bolivian President Evo Morales says he’s moving the country’s lone Middle Eastern embassy to Iran as he builds increasingly warm ties with the Islamic Republic.

Until now, Bolivia had the embassy in Egypt.

President Evo Morales announced the change at a news conference on Friday following his return from Iran and Libya, AP reported.

At a joint news conference with Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran on Tuesday, President Morales, the first indigenous leader of Bolivia, said that no country or force could ‘deter Bolivia from expanding ties with Iran’.

Morales said both Iranians and Bolivians “like to see how their leaders fight imperialism and defend the interests of their countries.”

Morales and fellow socialist Hugo Chavez of Venezuela have irked US officials by signing a series of deals with Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many involve petrochemicals, but Morales says Iran will help Bolivia in cement and agriculture as well.

Iran is building tractors and automobiles in Venezuela.

According to US assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere Thomas Shannon, Tehran’s gaining influence in Latin America will counter Washington’s traditional influence in the region.

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