Monday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said the country needs an atomic energy program, and that his government had already started looking into it.
“We’re taking on the project of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, and they aren’t going to stop us,” Chavez said. “We need it and we’re carrying out the first studies.”
A close ally of Iran, Chavez has defended their nuclear program saying he is sure that despite U.S. and European concerns, Iran is not making atomic weapons.
As of yet, it remains unclear how quickly Chavez wishes to pursue the atomic energy program, having previously mentioned the idea.
Chavez even brought up the issue while referring to the case of a physicist and his wife in New Mexico accused by U.S. authorities of offering to help develop nuclear weapons. This came after the couple allegedly had contact with an undercover U.S. agent posing as a Venezuelan government.
“They detained some scientist professors, I think Argentines, and then I was ready to respond when I saw that a government spokesman came out there saying that no, no, there is no evidence,” Chavez said.
He brought up the case in response to what he claims his leftist government has to deal with.
“They invent so many things,” he alleged. “The fact they say there’s no evidence doesn’t mean they aren’t going to find it tomorrow, or fabricate it…that Venezuela is making an atomic bomb.”
The South American president added, “Who in Venezuela could take on a project of that type? Who? We aren’t going to take it on.”