U . S . Warns Zimbabwe On Support for Iran Nuclear Programme

Posted: 10/03/2011 in Iran, Mugabe, Mumbengegwi, Politics, U. S, United Nations, United States, Uranium, Washington, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities received a warning on
Monday from the United States , over the
country ‘s growing cooperation with Iran ‘s
controversial nuclear programme .
P. J . Crowley , a spokesperson for the US State
Department , issued a strong statement warning
Zimbabwe that cooperating with Iran on its
nuclear programme would violate existing UN
resolutions. He said Zimbabwe could face
international penalties if it helped with Iran ‘s
nuclear development .
The State Department warning came after
Zimbabwe’s foreign minister , Simbarashe
Mumbengegwi, made statements suggesting
that UN sanctions on Iran are unfair and
hypocritical .
” The foreign minister of Zimbabwe is entitled to
his opinion but the government of Zimbabwe is
still bound by its commitments to the nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty and relevant U . N .
Security Council resolutions ,” Crowley told
reporters.
He said helping Iran to extract uranium would
violate U . N . Security Council resolutions and
” There are ramifications for countries that
decline to observe their international
obligations . “
Officials from Iran and Zimbabwe have been
holding talks to find a way to utilize large
reserves of uranium that were discovered in
Zimbabwe. It is known that Iran ‘ s foreign
minister visited Zimbabwe ” secretly ” in January
to assess the situation . After the visit, Robert
Mugabe denied reports that Iran had secured
uranium rights, but made statements suggesting
Iran had the right to ask for it .
Iran needs the uranium ore for its ambitious
and secretive nuclear development and
Zimbabwe does not have the expensive
equipment needed to process it. The US and its
UN allies believe Iran secretly wants to develop
nuclear weapons . Iran ‘s refusal to cooperate
with the UN Atomic watchdog has led to military
sanctions .
Noting that both Zimbabwe and Iran have been
criticized for harsh human rights abuses ,
Crowley joked: ” It would be quite a match for
Zimbabwe and Iran to cooperate ” on uranium
mining.

By Tererai Karimakwenda
9 March 2011
Sw radio Aftica
Allafrica.com

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