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Ahmadinejad completes Latin America visit

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Ahmadinejad completes Latin America visit

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been rounding off his tour of allies in Latin America.

It comes as Iran faces increasing pressure from the international community over its nuclear programme.

Speaking in Ecuador, the president claimed the US and its supporters were using nuclear allegations as a “political excuse.”

“I declare officially that Latin America is not the backyard of the United States of America any more,” Ahmadinejad added as he made wider criticism of the West, saying: “With what the big powers have done until now, they owe 1,000 times their excuses.”

As the EU sets about finalising measures against Iran, Washington has been winning Japanese support for its sanctions.

The Japanese Finance Minister said Tokyo would start reducing its imports of Iranian oil. The announcement came after talks with the US Treasury Secretary.

Meanwhile, the speaker of Iran’s parliament has said the country’s nuclear programme is too strong to be derailed by assassinations of nuclear scientists, after the death of one such expert in a bombing in Tehran earlier this week.