Argentina/Iran/Venezuela: Nuclear Technology

Taken Question
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 13, 2011

Question:   Does the U.S. have any information on reports that Argentina is sending nuclear technology to Iran through the Government of Venezuela? If so, what is our reaction? Has the Secretary received a letter from Rep. Ros-Lehtinen on this issue?

Answer:  The Department of State received a letter from Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Rep. Mack, and Rep. Rivera on July 11, expressing their concerns regarding reported attempts by Iran to engage Argentina on nuclear issues using Venezuela as an interlocutor.

We are aware of Iran’s interest and engagement in the Western Hemisphere, and continue to monitor these relationships closely. As Secretary Clinton remarked in December 2009, “We hope that there will be a recognition that [Iran] is the major supporter, promoter and exporter of terrorism in the world today.”

We have no evidence to support the claim that Venezuela serves as an interlocutor between Iran and Argentina on nuclear issues, nor that Argentina is granting Iran access to its nuclear technology. Argentina has long maintained a constructive position at the International Atomic Energy Agency with respect to Iran’s nuclear program.

We expect all countries to abide by their international obligations and responsibilities, including the obligation to fully implement all UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions on Iran.

PRN: 2011/1184