Daily Israel Report

Iran Trades Oil for Enriched Uranium from Zimbabwe

Iran has sealed a secret deal to trade oil for enriched uranium from Zimbabwe, which hosted Ahmadinejad last week, reports the London Telegraph.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 4/25/2010, 9:52 AM / Last Update: 4/25/2010, 10:23 AM

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Iran last month sealed a secret deal to trade oil for enriched uranium from Zimbabwe, which hosted Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week, according to the London Telegraph. The deal was signed last month “away from the media glare” when an Iranian minister visited Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, a source from the African country told the newspaper.

The oil-for uranium agreement gives Zimbabwe badly needed oil and allows Iran free and unsupervised access to material that can be used to produce a nuclear weapon. Israel, the United States and several Western countries have assumed that Iran is lying in claiming it has no intentions of building a nuclear weapon, which it presumably would try to use to carry out its repeated threat to “wipe Israel off the map.”

The reported deal with Zimbabwe would violate United Nations sanctions on Iran, which suddenly stated last week that it is willing to let U.N. nuclear watchdogs inspect its nuclear facilities.

Ahmadinejad last week visited Zimbabwe, whose Muslim population accounts for only one percent of its citizens. He showed support for Mugabe against “expansionist countries’ satanic pressures on the people of Zimbabwe” by allegedly trying to manage the country’s natural resources.

Mugabe responded, "We remain resolute in defending Zimbabwe's right to exercise its sovereignty over its natural resources. We have equally supported Iran's right to peaceful use of nuclear energy as enshrined in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.”

Zimbabwe is estimated to have nearly half a million tons of uranium, five percent of which can be extracted.

Ahmadinejad was the first leader outside of Africa to open the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, where Iran was the biggest foreign exhibitor.