Photo: AFP
Chavez in Libya
Photo: AFP

Chavez: No proof Iran building nuclear bomb

Upon his arrival in Tehran, Venezuelan leader says Islamic Republic pursuing peaceful nuclear energy

President Hugo Chavez, who arrived in Tehran Saturday, said in remarks rebroadcast on Venezuelan television that Iran will "not back down" in its quest for peaceful nuclear energy.


"There is no proof that Iran is producing a nuclear weapon," he said during a ceremony at Tehran's airport. "Next they'll accuse us of manufacturing a nuclear bomb."


The Venezuelan leader added that his country his country was building a "nuclear village" with Iran's help, so that the citizens of Venezuela "will benefit from this amazing technology."


Chavez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's main ally in Latin America, arrived in Iran after visiting Syria, Libya and Algeria. He is later scheduled to go to Belarus, Russia, Turkmenistan and Spain.


The visit comes one day after Ahmadinejad said that Iran will not bow to pressure in meeting any deadline set by world powers and is ready for more sanctions over its nuclear program.


While in Syria, Chavez attacked Israel, calling it an imperialist nation that annihilates other people.

Chavez comments came during a news conference with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad after a one-hour meeting at the hilltop presidential palace.


"Israel has become a country that annihilates people and is hostile to peace," he said, according to the Arabic translation of his remarks to reporters.


Leading world powers fear that Iran is using its civilian nuclear program as a cover to build nuclear weapons. Tehran insists the program is peaceful.


On Friday Iran accused the US of using "forged documents" and relying on subterfuge to make its case that Tehran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, according to a confidential letter obtained by The Associated Press.


The eight-page letter — written by Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's chief envoy to the UN nuclear agency in Vienna — denounces Washington's allegations against the Islamic Republic as "fabricated, baseless and false." The letter does not specify what documents Iran is alleging were forged.


פרסום ראשון: 09.05.09, 14:40
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