Venezuela has accused President Shimon Peres of threatening President Hugo Chavez in his prediction that the people of Venezuela and Iran would make their leaders disappear before long.
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro called Peres's remarks last week in Argentina "a direct threat to the life and safety" of Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Maduro, who spoke Monday as Ahmadinejad began a regional tour in Brazil, accused Peres of trying to disrupt Iran's growing ties with Latin America.
Peres's spokeswoman Ayelet Frisch quoted the president as saying Chavez and Ahmadinejad did not give their people any hope, and therefore Venezuelans and Iranians would replace them by democratic means. She said Tuesday that Peres did not threaten anyone, but was merely expressing the facts.