September 25, 2009
Quico says: So, just one day after Presidents Obama, together with Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown, warned Iran that they've determined that "the size and configuration of this [their newly disclosed nuclear facility at Qom] is inconsistent with a peaceful program", the Venezuelan government drops a diplomatic bombshell, as Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz confirms the longstanding rumors that Iran is also helping Venezuela prospect for Uranium in Southern Bolívar State.
“Iran has helped us on the aereal-geophysics fly-overs, and on geochemical analysis," the chavista minister said, adding that initial evaluations "have allowed us to detect radiometric anomalies that indicate that Uranium is present in the west of the country as well as in Santa Elena de Uairén”.
Honestly, the stories about Uranium-hunting Iranians in the jungle always seemed so far fetched to me I've been reluctant to run with that story. I always guessed, along with Robert Morgenthau, that the Iranian presence in Venezuela was basically about skirting US financial sanctions.
But no, this one's made the journey from urban legend to government confirmed fact in a big big hurry. And, together with the crisis brewing over Qom puts Venezuela in increasingly dicey geostrategic straits.