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Iran says open to helping Venezuela nuclear program
Updated: 2006-02-16 09:13

Iran would be open to helping Venezuela develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, but the countries have not yet held any talks about such cooperation, a top Iranian lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, an ardent critic of the U.S. government, is backing Iran's right to develop nuclear fuel despite international community opposition to Tehran pursuing its atomic program.

"Although we have not had any conversations until now with Venezuelan authorities, we would be willing to study the possibility," Iran's parliament speaker, Gholamali Haddadadel, said when asked by reporters in Caracas whether Tehran could offer cooperation to Venezuela.

Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter, last year said it was interested in developing nuclear technology for civilian energy and medical purposes. But experts said any such development could take Venezuela as long as 10 years.

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