Israel drags Bolivia, Venezuela into Iran nuclear row


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A technician working at Iran’s uranium-processing facility in the central province of Isfahan

As Israel continues its campaign to rally support for military action against Iran, two countries with poor relations with the US have been linked to Tehran’s nuclear program.

“We have information according to which Venezuela provides uranium to Iran for its nuclear program,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry claimed in a document that allegedly leaked to the media.

Iran says it pursues only the peaceful applications of nuclear technology via fuel it generates using its own uranium mines.

Israel, however, accuses the country of making efforts to develop nuclear weaponry. Under the allegation, officials in Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened to launch military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

While the issue ushered in a war of words under the presidency of George W. Bush, the Obama administration has pursued a less confrontational approach with Iran and allegedly seeks to restrict Israeli ambitions to wage war on the country.

The release of the Israeli document, however, comes at a time that growing Iranian influence in Latin America is rubbing the White House the wrong way.

Israel goes even further with its new document and links Bolivia — whose relations with the White House are also strained — to the issue, adding the Latin American country to its list of alleged uranium suppliers to Iran.

The document also takes a shot at Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez — whose image in the United States has been marred by years of propaganda –, claiming that he played a key role in boosting relations between Iran and Bolivia.

Earlier in the year, Venezuela expelled the Israeli ambassador over Tel Aviv’s offensive into Gaza. Israel retaliated by expelling the Venezuelan envoy.

Bolivia, for its part, cut ties with Israel over the assault.

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