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US warns Zim against Iran Uranium deal

12 August 2013, 17:07

Cape Town - The United States has warned Zimbabwe against selling uranium that could be used in a nuclear weapons programme to Iran, a newzimbabwe.com report says.

The US said such a deal would violate international law and lead to severe penalties.

"UN Security Council Resolution 1737 prohibits the sale or transfer of uranium to Iran, except for low-enriched uranium when it is incorporated into assembled nuclear fuel elements for light-water reactors," a US State Department official said.

"The government of Zimbabwe is bound by its commitments to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant legally binding UN Security Council resolutions.

"The United States is committed to preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. We urge all countries to fully implement and enforce their obligations under multiple UN Security Council resolutions not to provide Iran with materials that could be used to develop a nuclear weapon."

The warning followed a weekend report by The Times claiming that Zimbabwe had agreed a secret uranium trade deal with Iran.

The claim was dismissed as wishful thinking by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu.

"We are free to trade with any country but my ministry has not signed an agreement about uranium with Tehran," Mpofu said. 

"It is fiction and usual wishful thinking of the Western media. Why would we have a secret deal when we are a free country?"

- News24


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