Apart from being oil producers, Venezuela and Iran seemingly have little in common. What can a Shiite Middle Eastern theocracy share with a socialist, salsa-loving Latin American nation?
But over the last five years they have grown ever closer.
The relationship has caused a good deal of international disquiet.
Rumours abound about uranium sales and terrorist cells - but the Venezuelan government denies the claims and insists it's all about economic development.
For Crossing Continents, Linda Pressly sifts the evidence in Caracas.
BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents is broadcast on Thursday, 13 August, 2009 at 1102 BST and is repeated on Monday, 17 August, 2009 at 20:30 BST.
Reporter: Linda Pressly
Producer: Polly Hope