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Zimbabwe denies uranium export to Iran

Staff writer ▼ | August 12, 2013
Zimbabwe's government denied a report in The Times that it had reached a secret uranium export deal with Iran and wants the two Times journalists who wrote the story.
Zimbabwe uranium
Zimbabwe uraniumZimbabwe's government denied a report in The Times that it had reached a secret uranium export deal with Iran and wants the two Times journalists who wrote the story.


The Times story published on Saturday quoted outgoing deputy minister of mines Gift Chimanikire that Zimbabwe signed a deal to supply Iran with the raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon.

But Mines and Mining Development Minister Obert Mpofu told AFP the report was "fiction".

"That's fiction because I have never been asked by the Iranian government or anyone from Iran for mining concessions. They never applied for mining licences whether to mine uranium or any other mineral. The country is not mining uranium. If Chimanikire told the reporter about an agreement to export uranium to Iran maybe it was in a dream," Mr. Mpofu said.

Zimbabwean police are looking for two Times journalists, Jan Raath and Jerome Starkey, who are wanted for "spreading falsehoods" in the uranium deal story, according to Zimbabwe's state newspaper The Sunday Mail.

The US and the European Union (EU) have crippling sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is for peaceful energy uses but which the Western powers fear is intended to build an atomic bomb. Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights record and alleged election fraud.

President Robert Mugabe, who won another five-year term in disputed polls last month, has publicly backed Iran's nuclear drive.


 

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