Chavez in Iran: Obama still leads 'empire'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Wednesday that he has little hope of better relations with Washington under President Barack Obama, saying the United States is still acting like an "empire" in his eyes. Chavez made the comments after arriving in Tehran on a two-day visit to Iran. In recent years, Chavez and Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - both well-known for their anti-US rhetoric - have boosted economic and political ties. The socialist leader congratulated Iran on its recent 30th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, which ousted the US-backed shah and installed rule by hard-line Islamic clerics. "Arriving in Tehran for us is like arriving at one's own home," Chavez told reporters in remarks carried on Venezuelan state-run television. When asked about Obama's recent overtures to Iran for improved relations, Chavez said he will wait and see how the new administration takes shape but that he isn't optimistic.