The Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, is in Britain for a private visit. He met the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, but has not requested a meeting with the prime minister, whom he has described as a “pawn of the imperialist US”.
He told a packed conference room in north London that any attack on Iran over its nuclear programme would have devastating consequences, including soaring oil prices.
Venezuela has the world’s fifth largest oil supplies and Chavez has been spearheading a drive in Latin America for countries to nationalise their energy supplies.
Last week at the European-Latin American summit in Vienna, he said he would like to provide cheap heating fuel for Europeans on low incomes as he had for those in need in parts of the US this winter.