CARACAS (JTA) --Rumors that Venezuela is helping Iran develop a nuclear bomb were ridiculed in a new cache of diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.
“A plain-spoken nuclear physicist [said] that those spreading rumors that Venezuela is helping third countries (i.e. Iran) develop atomic bombs are full of (expletive)... . Venezuela is currently unable to provide such assistance particularly as the Chavez administration “does not trust scientists.”
It has been speculated in the past that Iran’s interest in developing close ties with Venezuela is centered on its nuclear ambitions and desire to exploit Venezuela’s untapped uranium deposits. Last year, press reports citing an Israeli Military Foreign Affairs Ministry document claimed that Bolivia and Venezuela were supplying uranium to Iran.
The cable also noted that the country’s deteriorated scientific infrastructure, by its own admission, is not capable at present of determining whether or not uranium concentrations are high enough to exploit.