Did Robert Mugabe Sign Uranium Deal To Aid Iran Nuclear Program?

Zimbabwe Minister Denies Report of Secret Deal With Tehran

2 Peas in a Pod? Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears with Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe at a trade fair in the southern African nation.
getty images
2 Peas in a Pod? Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears with Zimbabwe leader Robert Mugabe at a trade fair in the southern African nation.

By Forward Staff

Published August 10, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Zimbabwe has denied reports it signed a covert agreement to supply Iran with the uranium it needs to develop a nuclear weapon. Such a deal would be in violation of international sanctions imposed on the two regimes.

The Times of London quoted Gift Chimanikire, the outgoing Zimbabwean deputy mining minister, as saying that he has seen a memorandum of understanding “to export uranium to the Iranians,” despite warnings from the U.S. that such a deal may result in serious “ramifications.”

Chimanikire, who belongs to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party that recently lost to Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF, said that Zimbabwe had struck the deal last year.

Nevertheless, the report cited analysts as saying that Zimbabwe’s uranium reserves are as yet not ready for export.

Chimanikire later told Bloomberg that he was misquoted and the agreement was only aimed at future possible exploration in the mineral-rich southern African nation.

“We have no capacity to handle uranium as a country, and besides we don’t even know the quantity of uranium” deposits viable for mining, Chimanikire said.

The U.S. and the EU have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran with the purpose of stunting its nuclear program. Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights abuses and election violations.

Mugabe has forged a cozy relationship with Iran and has frequently stood up for the Islamic republic at the United Nations and elsewhere, portraying it as a victim of Western regime-change plots.

The firebrand leader called Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons a “just cause.”

Despite its radical stance on the international stage, Zimbabwe also has an occasional alliance of convenience with Israel. It once purchased millions in riot control equipment from an Israeli firm.

It has recently faced accusations of using Nikuv, a shadowy Israeli company specializing in identity documents, to rig national elections, which Mugabe claims to have won in a landslide.

With Haaretz


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.