Mutual adulation and anti-American snipes marked the meeting of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad with his Venezuelan host Hugo Chavez.
Welcoming the visiting Iranian leader to his presidential palace in Caracas, Chavez joked about having an atomic bomb buried in front of it.
He mocked US disapproval and said that according to “the imperialist spokesmen” the pair would “set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles.”
But it is what is going on at the heavily-fortified Fordo underground site in northern Iran that is worrying the international community.
The UN’s atomic watchdog says the Islamic Republic has begun enriching uranium there.
The news will heighten fears over Iran’s nuclear programme. The US says it would mark a “further escalation.”
Iran insists its atomic work is purely non-military but the West believes the aim is to produce nuclear weapons.