Venezuela, Iran team up on university plan

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela and Iran plan to start a new university program in the South American country with a focus on teaching socialist principles.

Venezuela's government says it plans to establish the University of Civilizations under accords recently signed with Iran.

Deputy Minister for Academic Development Tibisay Hung says the program will begin in Caracas at the existing, tuition-free Bolivarian University.

Hung tells the state-run Bolivarian News Agency that the aim is to promote discussion of "21st century socialism." Venezuela announced the program on Monday.

President Hugo Chavez is promising to lead Venezuela toward socialism, and in recent years has built increasingly close ties with Iran.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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