Firefighters put out a fire at a hospital in Tehran, Iran January 25, 2024. FILE PHOTO/REUTERS

 – Iran on Saturday said it will send experts to its ally Venezuela to help with medical accelerators in hospitals it said had been stopped due to Western sanctions.

Venezuela requested Iran’s help, according to a message on the social media platform X by the Iranian government attributed to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran.

“Venezuela has a number of accelerators in its hospitals that have been stopped due to the embargo,” the message said.

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Medical accelerators are used in radiation treatments for cancer patients.

Venezuela is also an ally of Russia and China.

The return of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry has made its alliance with Iran critical to keeping its lagging energy sector afloat. Washington last year temporarily relaxed sanctions on Venezuela’s promise to allow a competitive presidential election. The U.S. now says only some conditions were met.

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(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Daniel Wallis)