President Hugo Chavez's government said Friday an Iran-backed mineral survey has uncovered uranium deposits that Venezuela plans to eventually exploit to develop nuclear energy.
Aerial photographs of Venezuelan territory taken with Iranian assistance indicate deposits of uranium as well as gold, diamonds and coltan, Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon told reporters.
Chacon emphasized that the surveys were not solely focused on finding uranium, and are separate from efforts with Russia to develop nuclear energy. But he said Venezuela plans to exploit the deposits to develop nuclear energy.
"We have every right to have uranium in our soil, and to use it for the benefit of Venezuelans," he said.