MOSCOW, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - Venezuela is conducting prospecting work to locate uranium reserves in the country with help from Iranian specialists, the country's mining minister said.
The announcement confirms Venezuela's support for Iran's controversial nuclear program, which has triggered international condemnation in recent days over revelations of a previously secret uranium enrichment site.
Venezuelan Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said experts from Iran have been carrying out geophysical tests and aerial surveys to asses the extent Venezuela's uranium deposits.
The research carried out so far suggests that the country has large deposits in its Bolivar and Tachira states.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of Iran's key allies, has consistently supported Tehran's right to develop nuclear power. However, Sanz denied any plans to supply Iran with uranium.
Chavez has said his country wants to develop its own nuclear power program, but has ruled out producing atomic weapons. The country has been a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1957, and has signed several documents on the development of the civilian nuclear power industry.
In November last year, Venezuela signed a nuclear energy cooperation deal with Russia.