Foes Hungry for US Grains

Iran, Venezuela hungry for American corn, wheat
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2007 7:41 PM CDT
Rainbow colors form in the water and mist from an irrigation system on a crop of soybeans north of Little Falls, Minn., Tuesday, July 31, 2007. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Tuesday asked federal officials...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Venezuela's Hugo Chavez has called President Bush Satan, and Iran is that nuclear thorn in Washington's side, but neither country hesitates to import tons of grains straight from America's bread basket—especially during shortages the past few months. "They want to feed their people. They don't want to screw with that," one analyst tells Reuters.

Iran bought 360,000 metric tons of American corn last month, while Venezuela has spent $100,000 on US wheat since June. Other countries put their differences aside, too: China devours US soybeans; Syria dropped $242 million on corn last year; and Cuba is a regular customer. "The US is never going to deny these countries the food their people need," says one analyst.