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Bolivia denies supplying Iran with uranium


MEXICO CITY, May 27 (RIA Novosti) - Bolivian Presidential Minister Juan Ramon Quintana denied on Wednesday reports that his country has been supplying uranium to Iran, regional media said.

On Monday, several news agencies published a classified Israeli foreign ministry report in which the Israeli intelligence office stated that Bolivia and Venezuela had been supplying Iran with uranium for its nuclear program.

"It seems that the Israeli intelligence officers are going through a crisis and are unable to give an adequate or competent evaluation of events happening in South America," Mexican news agencies quoted Quintana as saying, adding: "There is no other way to explain the crazy conclusions in their report."

Quintana said Bolivia does not even have exact geological information on where uranium deposits are located in the country.

"Bolivia does not extract uranium and does not export it," he said.

In an interview with Bolivia's Razon newspaper, the minister of mining and industry, Freddy Beltran, said that Bolivia has uranium deposits which are not yet being mined. He also said however that Bolivia does export tantalite, which may contain a very small amount of uranium oxide.

Diplomatic ties between Iran and Bolivia were established in 2007 after Tehran pledged to invest around $1 billion over the next five years in oil and gas exploration, the mining industry and agriculture.

Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel earlier this year after Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.

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