Belarus hails 'strategic partnership' with Iran

Iran's president promised Belarus greater access to its vast oil reserves Monday as he and Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko pledged to cement a "strategic partnership" between their two countries - countries at odds with the European Union and the United States. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who arrived in this ex-Soviet republic on Monday, also hailed what he said was the "huge potential (for cooperation)" between the two nations. "The strengthening of relations between Belarus and Iran fosters support for regional and global security," Ahmadinejad said in televised comments. Belarus, Lukashenko said, is "ready for cooperation in all directions."