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Iran and North Korea expand ties

Iran and North Korea have signed a number of cooperation agreements on technology. Both states see the pacts as presenting a united front against Western powers.

The agreements were signed on Saturday in Tehran at a meeting between Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, according to Iranian state television and the website of Iran's presidential office.

Kim was visiting Iran for this week's summit of nonaligned countries.

"Just like North Korea, the imperialists have also put political pressure on Iran as they don't want these two states to stay independent and become powerful," Ahmadinejad is quoted as saying.

The bilateral cooperation agreements between Iran and North Korea include a student exchange programme and joint scientific research on energy, environment, agriculture and food.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told Kim that the two countries have common enemies and should resist outside pressures to achieve their goals.

jr/rg (dpa, dapd, AP)