A rumor that had been circulating in Venezuela for some time was confirmed on Friday — and then quickly retracted.
On Friday, Venezuela's Minister for Mines, Rodolfo Sanz, confirmed that Iran has been helping Venezuela look for uranium deposits
It seems Sanz's declaration was unscripted. Part if it is true, at least. Venezuela is looking for uranium, but with Russia's help
, not Iran's, according to Jessie Chacon, Minister for Science and Technology.
On Saturday, Sanz refused to clarify the issue.
His gaffe displays shockingly bad timing, coming so soon after Iran admitted it has been constructing a secret uranium enrichment site.
Chavez is one of the few international leaders to support Iran's bid to develop nuclear capabilities and one of the few who is not skeptical about Iran's claim that its nuclear resources will only be used for peaceful purposes.
Chavez said recently he plans to develop nuclear power himself, though Venezuela is some years off doing that. But by positioning himself in Iran's camp he may face fierce opposition from the international community.