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Chavez Hits False Note Greeting Ahmadinejad

Iran's President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent visitor to Venezuela, getting there four times in four years in office to see his close Latin American ally, President Hugo Chavez.

Which makes the Venezuelans' faux pas on Ahmadinejad's arrival there on November 24 even more surprising.

Ahmadinejad was greeted with the wrong national anthem.

The anthem played was Iran's Imperial National Anthem -- used in the days of the Shah and subsequently discarded under Iran's Islamic Republic.

Just to ensure it wasn't a web deception, we watched it on Iranian state television.

-- Michael Hirshman and Hossein Aryan

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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