Venezuela, Bolivia deny supplying uranium to Iran


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Venezuela and Bolivia denied an accusation in an Israeli government report that they are supplying uranium to Iran for its nuclear program.

The secret Israeli document containing the allegation was prepared in advance of Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s visit next week to a conference of the Organization of American States in Honduras, the Associated Press reported.

But Bolivia said it did not produce uranium, with presidential minister Juan Ramón Quintana calling the report nonsense, The New York Times reported Wednesday. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela said in the Times that it was another accusation meant to tarnish his government.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry document, according to the AP, cites previous Israeli intelligence conclusions in stating that the two countries are providing uranium to Iran. It did not say where the uranium had originated.

The report said Bolivia has uranium deposits, while Venezuela has an estimated 50,000 tons of untapped uranium reserves that reportedly it is not mining currently.

Both countries recently cut diplomatic ties with Israel in the wake of the Gaza invasion.

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