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US sends Zimbabwe a warning over nuclear cooperation with Iran

US says it’s concerned about suggestions Zimbabwe may be open to assisting Iran with its enrichment programme, although it has no evidence it’s happening.

The reactor building of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.
The reactor building of Iran's Bushehr nuclear power plant.
Image: AP Photo/Mehr News Agency, Majid Asgaripour

THE US SAYS ZIMBABWE could face sanctions if it cooperates with Iran’s nuclear programme, despite existing UN resolutions regarding Iran’s nuclear development.

US State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley said today that Zimbabwe would be violating its international obligations if it assisted Iran in mining uranium, the AP reports.

Zimbabwe’s foreign minister recently said that UN sanctions against Iran are unfair and hypocritical.

Although Crowley said the US did not have evidence of any cooperation between the two countries, it was concerned by statements suggesting Zimbabwe was open to providing such assistance.

The UN Security Council passed a resolution in June 2010 imposing stricter sanctions on Iran and stating that Iran “should not acquire interestes in any commercial activity relating to uranium enrichment and other nuclear materials or technology in other states”. It also said other states should not provide military supplies to Iran.

In September, the Zimbabwean delegation to the International Atomic Energy Agency delivered a presentation which said:

Whilst Zimbabwe recognises the importance of the safet and secure usage of nuclear energy, safety and security considerations should not be used as a pretext to prevent the transfer of nuclear technologies to developing countries for peaceful purposes.

The IAEA has repeatedly expressed its concerns about Iran’s nuclear enrichment programme, despite Iranian officials stating their efforts are directed at producing energy. Last month, the nuclear watchdog agency said that Iran’s foreign minister had travelled to Zimbabwe in January to search for uranium.

- AP

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