Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will leave Tehran for late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s funeral in Caracas Thursday.
“As long as justice, love and freedom are alive, Hugo Chavez will be alive as well,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in an address to the Venezuelan and Iranian people, FARS News Agency reports. “As long as nations are alive and strive for the materialization of independence, kindness and justice, he will be alive too.”
The Iranian president had met with Mr. Chavez several times over the past few years.
On Wednesday Syrian President Bashar Assad mourned Mr. Chavez, saying “the demise of this unique leader is as much a great loss for me personally and the Syrian people as it is for the people of Venezuela.”
In a report by Iranian PressTV, the Syrian government was quoted as saying Mr. Chavez was a friend of the regime:
“[Chavez] repeatedly declared his solidarity with Syria’s leadership and its people in the face of the fierce imperialist attack it was exposed to, and condemned the American pressure [on Syria].”