Venezuela is talking with Iranian companies to develop joint ventures in the South American country’s mineral-rich southeast. Corporacion Venezolana de Guayana (CVG) President Francisco Rangel said officials held talks with Iran’s KDO group on a bauxite and aluminum plant project. Officials also met with state firm Ehdasse Sanat Corp. to discuss building a cement factory, and aimed to sign an initial accord at the G-15 meeting in Caracas next month.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will host a Feb. 25 to 28 summit of leaders from G-15 nations, including Iran, Argentina and Indonesia, in the Venezuelan capital for talks on poverty and regional development. Since his election in 1998, Populist Chavez has moved to strengthen ties with states seen as hostile by the White House such as Iran, Libya and Cuba. The measures have irked the United States, which remains the biggest buyer of Venezuela’s crude oil.