Hugo Chávez and his Iranian counterpart share a history of anti-US vitriol. This visit, Ahmadinejad's first since the US sanctioned Venezuela over trade with Iran, will likely add fuel to the fire.
Washington announced sanctions on PDVSA Tuesday for selling gasoline to Iran. The action is unlikely to slow the flow of Venezuelan oil to its No. 1 customer, the US.
In the past year, China has secured some $65 billion in regional deals. President Obama's current visit to Latin America is seen as a counteracting move.
Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad this week pledged to 'expand ties' with Venezuela, which is under US scrutiny for shipping oil allegedly in violation of sanctions.