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Iran may consider a proposal from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to build a backup “nuclear village” in his nation to produce nuclear energy and also to have a safe fall-back production capability in case there is an attack by Israel or the United States on nuclear facilities in Iran, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin.
Chavez, in a visit last week to Iran, proposed to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the idea of building a project in Venezuela.
Security sources have confirmed such a “nuclear village” could become the Iranian nuclear production alternative, or a location to hide especially critical nuclear components from attack.
With the United Nations about ready to take up the issue of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear enrichment efforts, such a prospect of attack, particularly from Israel, is increasingly likely. Israeli officials have stated on numerous occasions that a nuclear Iran would threaten Israel’s existence.
While the U.N. is expected to consider proposals for sanctions on Iran, there is an expectation that Russia and China will reject further sanctions. If that happens, security experts believe that Israel then could declare diplomacy a failure, opening the way for its long-intimated attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The issue of nuclear cooperation between Iran and Venezuela arose in the context of military and security cooperation agreements reached between their two leaders.
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France was quick to object to any nuclear cooperation, saying that it would violate various United Nations resolutions, including U.N. Security Council Resolution 1737. That resolution calls for all U.N. members to refrain from the direct or indirect purchase of nuclear-related technology from Iran.
Iran and Venezuela are signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, or NPT, and their legislatures have ratified it, compelling their compliance. At the same time, it allows them to undertake a peaceful nuclear development program.
The purpose of the NPT is to allow for the promotion of cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy while trying to prevent nuclear weapons proliferation. The NPT is the only binding commitment in a multilateral treaty to disarmament by nuclear countries.
To date, some 187 countries are signatories to the NPT. It offers a safeguard system under the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, to verify treaty compliance through inspections. At the same time, it promotes equal access to nuclear technology.
Security experts believe, however, that efforts to insure effective Iranian compliance with the NPT or the U.N. resolutions would be difficult given the need for policing and investigation, something which most countries are not equipped to undertake and may not have the political will to do.
Iranian interest in nuclear cooperation with Venezuela has come up in the past. In 2006, Ahmadinejad and Chavez voiced the need for similar cooperation. At the time, Iranian parliament speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said that Iran would study the possibility.