Zimbabwe Denies Striking Secret Uranium Deal for Iran’s Nuclear Program

Mining ministry dismissed reports in British media as a 'malicious and blatant lie.’

Zimbabwe's state radio says the country's ministry of mines controlled by longtime ruler President Robert Mugabe has not struck a deal to sell uranium to Iran for its nuclear program.

The radio said Sunday that mining ministry dismissed reports in the British media that the two countries have signed an agreement on uranium exports as "a malicious and blatant lie."

The Times reported on Saturday that Zimbabwe signed a covert agreement to supply Iran with uranium for its nuclear program. Such a deal would be in violation of international sanctions imposed on the two regimes.

The mining ministry statement said Zimbabwe's uranium deposits have not been exploited and "we have never issued any license to any Iranian company."

Police said they are searching for two British journalists of The Times of London, one visiting for the July 31 elections, over the uranium report.

It is a criminal offense with a penalty of imprisonment or a fine for "publishing falsehoods" under Zimbabwe's sweeping media laws.