TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has left for Caracas to attend the funeral of his Venezuelan ally Hugo Chavez.
Ahmadinejad is the head of an Iranian delegation that flew out of Tehran on Thursday.
The Iranian leader has praised Chavez, comparing him to a saint and saying he will return on resurrection day.
In his condolences on Wednesday, Ahmadinejad also said he has "no doubt Chavez will return to Earth together with Jesus and the perfect" Imam Mahdi, the most revered figure of Shiite Muslims, and that he'll help the two "establish peace, justice and kindness" in the world.
Ahmadinejad also says he believes something "suspicious" had caused Chavez's cancer.
The Iranian president had close ties with Chavez and the two leaders met frequently over the past years.