Zimbabwe-Iran: Uranium deals against debts?

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Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today vowed to stand side by side with Zimbabwean leader in defence of the country against the “arrogant,
evil minded super powers”.

He lashed out at the West for continually oppressing poor nations.

Speaking through an interpreter, Ahmadinejad without naming any
Western country said their efforts to prevent small countries from developing in science technology will collapse.

“Africa has vast untapped resource which some evil super powers are trying to block small nations from fully exploiting the resource and develop in science technology,” the Iranian leader said.

This was in reference to Iran’s controversial nuclear programme that has raised the threat of new United Nations sanctions against the Islamic state.

In an address littered with religious remarks, Ahmadinejad said the “evil super powers” still want to impose slavery in Africa.

Ahmadinejad took aim at countries that “raise fears of injustices and corruption yet they are plundering the resources of other countries to expand their international domination.”

Ahmadinajad is on a rare visit to Zimbabwe through the invitation of Mugabe whom he called “my close friend”.

His visit was condemned by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party saying it’s a “meeting of two despots which could further isolate Harare”.

In a statement Thursday, the MDC accused Ahmadinejad of being “a war monger, a trampler of human rights, an executioner of those with dissenting
voices and a leader of questionable legitimacy” – a reference to his
disputed re-election victory last year.

Today Tsvangirai and his ministers did not attend the opening of the trade exhibition ceremony.

However, government sources say Ahmadinejad’s visit is all about uranium which Zimbabwe has vast untapped deposits. Iran needs the uranium to boost its nuclear programme.

“The opening of the trade exhibition is just a public relations thing, the main agenda is uranium. The Iranians have offered to financial support to Zimbabwe but at the expense of uranium”, the source said.


He also believes that Mugabe’s entry into the deal is as a result of the Zimbabwean leader having already mortgaged the country. Zimbabwe owes Iran tens of millions of dollars in loans.

On Thursday night the two leaders signed eleven trade and cooperation agreements, including a Bilateral Air Services Agreement and MOUs on tourism, co-operation on youth affairs, science and technology, education, diplomatic consultations, waiver for diplomatic and service visas.

Ahmadinajad said, “I condemn all Satanic pressures imposed on Zimbabwe
and these powerful countries are doomed, they will not be successful,”
he said.

Mugabe on Thursday told Ahmadinejad that …”be also assured, comrade
president, of Zimbabwe’s continuous support of Iran’s just cause on the nuclear issue”.

“Because of the principled positions we have taken at both the domestic and international level, Zimbabwe and Iran have been unjustly vilified and punished by Western countries,” Mugabe said.

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