Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is welcomed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at Miraflores Palace in Caracas
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is welcomed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez at Miraflores Palace in Caracas (Reuters)

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez joked with Iranian's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about having an atomic bomb ready under a hill in front of his presidential palace in Caracas.

"That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out," he told his anti-US friend, according to Reuters. "The imperialist spokesmen say Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflores basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles. It's laughable."

Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela for a tour taking in four left-leaning Latin American nations to seek support against Western economic sanctions imposed against the country's perceived nuclear programme. The leaders hugged each other, shook hands and lavished each other with praise.

They share the same anti-US ideology, although concrete projects have rarely taken place between their two nations.

"Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever," the Iranian president told Chavez.

US officials warned against Venezuela's close ties with Iran, fearing that Chavez will weaken an international diplomatic front against Iran.

The United States and its allies believe Iran's nuclear policy is aimed at producing a weapon. Iran says it is only for peaceful power generation.

Iran's Ahmadinejad Visits Chavez [SLIDESHOW]