Venezuela's science and technology minister said his country is working with Russia to detect deposits of uranium but withdrew an earlier denial that the country was also working with Iran.
Jesse Chacon originally denied the reports that Venezuela is receiving support from Iran to seek uranium, but clarified later Saturday that his comments were only in regard to Russia and that exploration efforts with Iran fall under the direction of Venezuela's Mining Ministry.
Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said Friday Iran is helping Venezuela to detect uranium deposits and that initial evaluations suggest reserves are significant. His announcement was made the same day world leaders criticized the Islamic republic for secretly building a uranium-enrichment plant that could be used to make an atomic bomb.
Sanz declined to respond to reporters when questioned Saturday about Chacon's remarks. President Hugo Chavez said only that Venezuela "has a lot of uranium."