CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday said the international community should ease up on Iran, which he said was "not the biggest threat in the world."
"They accuse Iran of making the atomic bomb. Why don't those who make the accusations set an example? ... Iran isn't the biggest threat in the world," Chavez said during a public act.
Europe and the United States have long accused Iran of seeking to develop a nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian nuclear energy program, a charge Tehran denies.
"There's no evidence that contradicts what the Iranian government is saying to the world: that they're not making any bomb," Chavez added.
The leftist leader said an initiative by Brazil to reduce tensions with Iran was very interesting and lauded a visit by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva visit to Tehran due next week.
Iran and Western powers are at an impasse over a UN-drafted nuclear fuel swap deal for Tehran, which envisages supplying Iran with nuclear fuel in exchange for its low-enriched uranium stocks.
Brazil, a rotating UN Security Council member, is resisting a US-led push for UN sanctions against Iran, and has said it is ready to host a nuclear fuel swap if asked by Tehran.
The United States wants Iran to stop enriching uranium, which can be used as fuel either for civilian power reactors or atomic weapons.
Chavez, a long-time US critic, is one of Iran's main allies in South America and has strengthened his relations with Tehran in recent years.
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