Venezuelan leader decorated for support

? Iran awarded Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez its highest state medal on Sunday for supporting Tehran in its nuclear standoff, while the fiery leader urged the world to rise up and defeat the United States, state-run television in both countries reported.

Chavez said President Bush is so evil he must talk to the devil, and he condemned Israel for what he called the “terrorism” and “madness” of its recent attacks in Lebanon, Venezuelan state television reported.

Iran awarded the medal to Chavez to show its gratitude for his “support for Iran’s stance on the international scene, especially its opposition to a resolution by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” the Iranian station said.

In February, Venezuela opposed an IAEA decision to report Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its disputed nuclear program.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented Chavez with the Islamic Republic Medal in a ceremony at Tehran University.

“He is the one who has resisted imperialism for years and has defended the interests of his and other Latin American countries,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.

Chavez arrived Saturday in Tehran for an official two-day visit.