The speaker of the Iranian parliament, Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, said during a trip to Caracas that Iran and Venezuela had not discussed nuclear cooperation, but said Iran would be willing to study the possibility.
He said that any cooperation would be "according to the rules of the International Atomic Energy Agency," the UN's nuclear watchdog, which on 4 February referred Iran to the UN Security Council over concerns that Iran may be pursuing a nuclear program for military purposes.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a critic of the U.S. government, has backed Iran's right to develop nuclear fuel despite such international concerns. Iran and Venezuela are both members of the oil cartel OPEC.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on 15 February that Iran was in open defiance of the international community for resuming uranium enrichment for nuclear fuel. But Rice admitted there is no broad global agreement to impose international sanctions on Iran at this point.
(compiled from agency reports)