Zim police question journalist over Iran uranium deal report

2013-08-15 08:40

Harare – Zimbabwean police summoned a journalist from British newspaper The Times for questioning over a story about a secret uranium export deal between Zimbabwe and Iran.

Harare-based Times journalist Jan Raath was released yesterday after an earlier summons, according to his lawyer Harrison Nkomo.

“He’s been questioned and released. That’s all I can say for now,” Nkomo told AFP.

Raath and colleague Jerome Starkey reported the deal in the London paper on Saturday. Starkey has since left the country.

A Zimbabwean state newspaper then reported Raath and Starkey were wanted for “spreading falsehoods”.

The Times quoted outgoing deputy mines minister Gift Chimanikire as saying Zimbabwe had signed a deal to supply Iran with raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon.

Chimanikire later denied the report, and mines minister Obert Mpofu refuted the supposed deal.

The US and the European Union have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme.

Tehran insists the programme is for peaceful energy uses, but Western powers fear it intends to build an atomic bomb.

Zimbabwe is also subject to international sanctions over its human rights record and alleged election fraud.

President Robert Mugabe, who won another five-year term in disputed polls last month, has publicly backed Iran’s nuclear drive.

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