Zimbabwe was willing to work with Iran on extracting uranium resources meant for Tehran’s nuclear program, Zimbabwe’s foreign minister told the Iranian ISNA news agency on Thursday.
Last month a new intelligence report claimed that Iran was expanding its covert global search for the uranium it needs for its nuclear activities and a key focus is Zimbabwe.
The report is in line with international assessments that Iran’s domestic supplies cannot sustain its nuclear program that could be turned toward making weapons.
Speaking of the issue during an official visit to Tehran, Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi told ISNA that while “Zimbabwe holds rich resources, but the problem we face is lack of budget, finance and required technical equipment to take the very rich resources out and use them.”
Mumbengegwi then criticized western attempts to sanction Iran over its nuclear program, saying that “those making claims on Iran’s enrichment work hold nuclear weapons and hostile nuclear program.”
“Any country has the right to use peaceful nuclear energy based on international rules,” he added.
Regarding the sanctions imposed both on Iran and his own country, the Zimbabwean FM said that restrictions “against the two countries are not accidental.”
“Western states follow the approach of sanction towards countries which do not yield to their domination and act against their interests,” Mumbengegwi said, adding that “any impartial observer can testify that the southern African country is one of the most democratic countries in the continent and has never violated human rights.”
The Zimbabwean official also said that any “sanction should be approved by the UN General Assembly since it involves many countries and it should not be allowed that few countries misuse other ones.”
Iran says it is enriching solely to power a future network of nuclear reactors. But it has been targeted by United Nations sanctions because enrichment can also create fissile warhead material – and because of its nuclear secrecy and refusal to cooperate with IAEA probes into its activities.