Report: Zimbabwe Agrees to Export Uranium to Iran

Covert deal was signed last year in violation of sanctions on both regimes, outgoing Zimbabwean minister tells The Times.

Zimbabwe has signed a covert agreement to supply Iran with the uranium it needs to develop a nuclear weapon, The Times reported on Saturday. Such a deal would be in violation of international sanctions imposed on the two regimes.

The British daily quoted Gift Chimanikire, the outgoing Zimbabwean deputy mining minister, as saying that he has seen a memorandum of understanding "to export uranium to the Iranians," despite warnings from the U.S. that such a deal may result in serious "ramifications."

The minister said that Zimbabwe had struck the deal last year.

Nevertheless, the report cited analysts as saying that Zimbabwe's uranium reserves are as yet not ready for export. 

The U.S. and the EU have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran with the purpose of stunting its nuclear program. Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights abuses and election violations.

Robert Mugabe, who was last week declared winner of Zimbabwe's disputed presidential election, has previously backed Iran's nuclear drive. Chimanikire is expected to step down next week when Mugabe forms his latest government.