(IRNA) - President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here said that Iran gives priority to strengthening of relations with Latin American states on areas of common interest.
Ahmadinejad, who arrived home late Tuesday from a five-day official visit to three Latin American nations, made the remarks to reporters at Tehran Mehrabad International Airport upon his arrival.
"A growing movement in Latin America for justice and independence shows the opposition of peoples of the region to the hegemonic system," he said.
He added that the anger he witnessed all over the region against the system meant his Latin American tour was a success, reports Trend.
Describing Latin America as a huge region with rich natural resources and talents, he said its inhabitants have many similarities with the Iranian nation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran and Latin American states can complement and support each other, he said, adding that he found countries in the region a rich ground for massive, long-term investment that can create many jobs for peoples of both sides.
He urged the two sides to seize the opportunity to develop the region's potentials.
In addition to the more than 120 agreements and contracts that have already been signed between Iran and Venezuela in the recent past, the two countries, during the president's visit, inked 11 new agreements.
He praised Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez as a "revolutionary" person who has a "practical point of view on cultural, economic and international issues."
The president said that tens of Iranian groups from the private and government sectors are implementing big projects in Venezuela, adding that the two countries have a great potential for joint cooperation.
"Today there is a growing demand for justice and independence in Latin America. Peoples of the region are tired of policies imposed by countries that support liberal economies and the hegemonic system.
"They seize every opportunity to demonstrate their clear opposition to the hegemonic system," Ahmadinejad pointed out.
He said Iranians share a common bond with the peoples of Latin America and will support their inalienable rights as well as prioritize boosting of economic and cultural ties with this region.
He said there were also very good opportunities for entering into joint ventures with Latin American states as well as concluding agreements for bilateral cooperation in the fields of oil and gas, tractor and cement production and manufacture of petrochemicals.
Pointing to the increasing number of large-scale joint ventures and bilateral exchanges between Iran and Venezuela, he said Iranian exports to Latin America have reached a high of nearly USD 2 billion.
He added that several opportunities remain for joint cooperation.
The president referred to an agreement signed between Tehran and Caracas during his visit to establish a joint monetary fund, saying this was among the very important decisions made during his talks with President Chavez.
"As you know, the current monetary and financial systems of the world are tools in the hands of hegemonic systems to humiliate nations and impose pressure on them reminiscent of the hegemonic systems established after World War II. They are completely in the service of the interests of powerful states."
He said certain countries have expressed their interest in such a fund, particularly in establishing an independent monetary and financial fund free from the control of hegemonic powers.
The president said he believes the project would be a landmark in global monetary and financial relations if it were implemented wisely.
He announced that Iran would enhance its investment in Latin American states and said that Iran has established an automobile manufacturing company in Venezuela.
He added that the company's products are currently being tested and will enter the Venezuelan market within the next two to three months.
"A tractor manufacturing firm has also been established in Venezuela. It is expected to produce various modern agricultural machinery."
The president went on to say that Iran and Venezuela were currently surveying avenues for expansion of their cooperation in the fields of science, culture, education, exchange of university students, tourism and construction of a petrochemical refinery.
Turning to the next country he visited, Nicaragua, he said it is one of Latin America's important countries.
"We have had broad exchanges with Nicaragua in the past but bilateral ties were stained following the ouster of revolutionary forces from its government."
The president said that with the election of President Daniel Ortega, the two sides are now determined to restore fully their political ties and Iran will set up a mission in that country.
"Iran and Nicaragua signed agreements for bilateral cooperation in 25 sectors including exchange of university students and establishment of joint venture in various fields."
Pointing to his visit to Ecuador, he said Iran and Ecuador have similar political and economic views, adding that during his visit and talks with Ecuador's newly elected President Rafael Correa the two sides agreed to strengthen their ties.
Ahmadinejad, who met with his Bolivian counterpart, Evo Morales, during the inaugural ceremony for Ecuador's President Correa, said he discussed with Morales construction of milk factories and cooperation in oil and gas fields in Bolivia.
"We should make our presence felt in different parts of the world to promote our values of independence and justice because there are talented people in Iran who can create jobs and invest.
"They would also be effective tools for the spread of Iranian culture."