Jan 13 - Iran's president wraps up his Latin American tour as he seeks to build support in the face of rising international opposition over its nuclear programme. Paul Chapman reports.
PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrapped up his Latin American tour in Ecuador, accusing the U.S. of using his country's nuclear programme as an excuse for political manoeuvring. SOUNDBITE: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad saying (Farsi): "The nuclear question is a political excuse. All of them know well that Iran isn't looking to build nuclear bombs." Ahmadinejad's stance is being backed by Ecuador's President Rafael Correa. He says Washington's allegations of a nuclear weapons programme are based on flimsy sources. SOUNDBITE: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa saying (Spanish): "How can those reports be accepted? Isn't it the same thing that happened with Iraq which caused an invasion that cost over a million lives. Also later the conclusion was reached that they didn't have weapons of mass destruction. How could we possible not learn from history and such a recent painful history?" Ahmadinejad arrived in Ecuador's capital on Thursday. He's on his way back to Iran on Friday at the end of a four-nation tour of Latin America that also took in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. His trip took place as tensions rise further still following new U.S. sanctions intended to inflict economic damage in the hope of forcing Iran to drop its nuclear programme. Paul Chapman, Reuters