Iran, Venezuela sign document condemning nuclear weapons

Top Iranian and Venezuelan lawmakers signed a document condemning nuclear weapons but saying all nations have a right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Iranian parliament speaker Gholam Ali Haddad Adel told reporters Wednesday that Iran had not discussed the possibility of cooperating with Venezuela in nuclear technology, but would be willing to consider it.

He and his Venezuelan counterpart, Nicolas Maduro, signed the document reading: "We condemn the making, development and accumulation of nuclear arms, (and) we ratify the right of all countries to make peaceful use of nuclear energy."

They two parliamentary leaders pledged to deepen their countries' alliance as Iran faces scrutiny over its nuclear program. In the declaration, they condemned the use of "imperialist policies" by foreign powers, a reference to concerns by the U.S. and its allies that Iran could be using its nuclear energy program as a cover for producing an atomic bomb.

Earlier this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported Iran to the U.N. Security Council over fears it wants to produce nuclear arms.

Of the board's 35 members, 27 nations voted for referral, reflecting more than two years of intense lobbying by the U.S. and its allies. Only Venezuela, along with Cuba and Syria, voted against, while the remainder abstained.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says Iran has a right to develop nuclear energy and that the U.S. is the real nuclear threat. Chavez also says his government aims to develop a nuclear program for peaceful energy uses, reports the AP.

I.L.