Venezuela Says Iran Helped It Find Uranium Deposits

September 26, 2009

(ChattahBox) — On the same day Brazil’s vice president says his country should develop nuclear weapons, it turns out another South American country might be getting into the nuclear arms game.  President Hugo Chávez’s government said Friday that their pals in Iran are helping to detect uranium deposits in Venezuela and initial evaluations suggest reserves in western parts of the country and in Santa Elena de Uairen,” in southeastern Bolivar state are significant. Iran is Venezuela’s top ally outside Latin America, working with Chávez’s government on many projects.  Chávez has denied that Venezuela wants to develop nuclear weapons, but this month, he said he had reached an agreement with Russia, the top weapons supplier to Venezuela, for assistance in creating a nuclear energy program.
Chávez also referred this month to a plan to create what he called a “nuclear village” in Venezuela with technological assistance from Iran. This announcement raised concern in some countries, including the United States and France, over the possibility that Venezuela could help Iran bypass a 2006 ban on exporting materials related to its nuclear program to United Nations countries. just yesterday it was revealed that Iran has secretly been building a uranium-enrichment plant provoking concerns they are seeking to develop atomic weapons.

Meanwhile Brazil’s vice president Jose Alencar says “a nuclear weapon has great importance” to prevent attacks on his country because of its extensive borders and maritime holdings. Alencar tells Brazilian newspapers that Brazil doesn’t have a program to develop nuclear weapons, but should.  However Alencar’s influence is relatively limited as he is not a member of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s party, and Brazilian officials insist they are developing nuclear energy only for peaceful means.

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