Iran strikes nuclear mining deal with Zimbabwe, Sunday Telegraph claims
April 26, 2010
Iran has struck a secret deal with Zimbabwe to mine its untapped uranium reserves in a move to secure raw material for its steadily expanding nuclear program, a British newspaper claimed.Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made a visit to Zimbabwe on Thursday. He signed several bilateral cooperation agreements. Iranian President held talks with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwean state media said Ahmadinejad's visit was part of a drive to boost ties between the two nations at odds with the West.
The agreement was sealed last month during a visit to Tehran by a close aide to Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, The Sunday Telegraph has learned.
In return for supplying oil, which Zimbabwe desperately needs to keep its faltering economy moving, Iran has been promised access to potentially huge deposits of uranium ore.
“Iran secured the exclusive uranium rights last month when minister of state for presidential affairs, Didymus Mutasa visited Tehran,” said a Zimbabwean government source. “That is when the formal signing of the deal was made, away from the glare of the media.”
Mr. Mutasa is the former lands minister in the Zanu-PF administration and one of Mr. Mugabe's most senior aides.