The Nuclear Program

In 2008, the U.S. Department of State sanctioned CAVIM, alleging that it had provided Tehran with sensitive technology that could be used to develop nuclear weapons. In 2009, Chávez admitted that Iran was helping Venezuela to explore for uranium and develop nuclear capabilities for peaceful purposes. This admission sparked concerns that Iran sought uranium from Venezuela for its enrichment program. Venezuela is also rich in thorium, which can be used in nuclear weapons production. In 2010, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roger Noriega wrote in Foreign Policy magazine that Venezuela was helping Iran circumvent international sanctions and violating U.N. Security Council Resolutions meant to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.