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Zimbabwe keen to supply Iran with uranium: Mumbengegwi
03/03/2011 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
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ZIMBABWE is keen to work with Iran in exploiting its untapped uranium deposits, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said.

Mumbengegwi told Iranian news agency ISNA on Thursday that Zimbabwe was willing to work with Iran on extracting uranium resources meant for Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.

“Zimbabwe holds rich resources, but the problem we face is lack of budget, finance and required technical equipment to take the very rich resources out and use them,” ISNA reported Mumbengegwi as saying.

It has been known for many years that uranium deposits lie in the Zambezi River valley but were not exploited due to low uranium prices. It is estimated that the country’s Kanyemba mine holds more than 45,000 tons of uranium ore with over 20,000 tons extractible.

Mumbengegwi also criticised attempts by Western countries to sanction Iran over its nuclear program, saying "those making claims on Iran's enrichment work hold nuclear weapons and hostile nuclear program."

"Any country has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy based on international rules," he added.

Zimbabwe has also been under Western sanctions over allegations of rights abuses and suspected electoral fraud.

Mumbengegwi said that sanctions "against the two countries are not accidental."

"Western states follow the approach of sanction towards countries which do not yield to their domination and act against their interests," he said, adding that "any impartial observer can testify that the southern African country is one of the most democratic countries in the continent and has never violated human rights."

He insisted that that any "sanction should be approved by the UN General Assembly since it involves many countries and it should not be allowed that few countries misuse other ones."

Iran says it is enriching solely to power a future network of nuclear reactors. But the country has been targeted by United Nations sanctions because enrichment can also create fissile warhead material — and because of its nuclear secrecy and refusal to cooperate with IAEA probes into its activities.


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