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18 January 2012 - 11:07

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have denounced foreign interference in Iran and Syria.

During a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Putin and Chavez agreed on the need for "the defense of the independence and sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, against the harassment and interference by the colonial powers."

In November, the International Atomic Energy Agency released a report accusing Iran of conducting activities related to developing nuclear weapons before 2003, adding that these activities "may still be ongoing."

The document echoed allegations by the United States, Israel, and their allies, who accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program. They also used this allegation as a pretext to sway the UN Security Council to impose four rounds of sanctions on Iran.

Tehran has categorically refuted the Western allegation, saying that as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has the right to acquire and develop nuclear technology meant for peaceful purposes.

Syria has been experiencing unrest ever since mid-March, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

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News Code 181396