US warns Zimbabwe on Iran nuclear ties

2011-03-09 08:10

Washington - The United States on Tuesday warned Zimbabwe it could face international penalties if it helped Iran's nuclear programme in defiance of the UN sanctions and a global arms treaty.

State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley said Washington had taken note of comments that media reports attributed to Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi which called the broad sanctions on Iran "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 UN Security Council resolutions," Crowley said.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is a vocal critic of Western nations and last year voiced support for Iran's nuclear programme, which the United States and its allies believe is a cover for development of an atomic weapon.

Zimbabwean officials later denied reports they had signed a deal allowing Iran to mine untapped uranium reserves in the southern African nation.

Crowley said Iran was working to escape its economic isolation by courting "receptive governments such as Zimbabwe", but warned that all countries were bound by the UN Security Council decision on Iran sanctions.

"We are indicating our concern about the statements that suggest that Zimbabwe would be open to co-operating with Iran in ways that violate the UN Security Council resolutions," Crowley said.

International penalties

"There are potential international penalties. Although, obviously, Zimbabwe has its own issues with the international community, including the United States," Crowley said.

"That would be quite a match, for Iran and Zimbabwe to co-operate."

The United States, which has led the international effort to rein in Iran's nuclear programme, has also accused Mugabe's government of human rights abuses and of rigging elections since 2000.

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Zimbabwean state firms and travel restrictions on Mugabe and dozens of his associates after a violent 2000 election and at the start of sometimes violent seizures of white-owned commercial farms for black resettlement.

  • CorneN - 2011-03-09 08:36

    Mining uranium would be a nice little revenue stream for a failed economy with a money hungry dictatorship. Lets hope it blows up in Mugabe's face.

      Felix - 2011-03-09 09:16

      It would be great if the US carpet bombed his palace!

      omgwtfnews - 2011-03-09 10:45

      Carpet bomb that whole country.

  • Marco - 2011-03-09 08:59

    Wow Mugabe life would be so much easier for you and your people if you only had good relations with the West,primarily with the USA.Stupid,silly little man Mugabe and co are for trying to develop there economy without the West being at the forefront of FDI Inflows.Outside of South Africa,foreign private capital flows into Sub-Saharan Africa exclusively come in the form of FDI.Think of all the transfers of skills,technology,and job opportunities Zimbabwe could've benefited from had it not been for this old fart Mugabe and his ways.A report from the United Nation's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs(OCHA)found that only 6 percent of Zimbabweans were formally employed at the end of 2010 and inflation was said to have reached 231 million percent in July of the same year.In a joint 2009 report,the International Finance Corporation(IFC)and the World Bank ranked the "ease of doing business" in 181 countries,with Zimbabwe coming in as number 158 in the report. In 2010,Mugabe was ranked 6th on a Parade Magazine list of the world's worst dictators and the Zimbabwean president has drawn comparisons to notorious Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

      Shamwari - 2011-03-09 12:54

      Em dude, Are you from zim, have you been there lately, the report you are talking about is outdated, this inflation story is old... how can there be 231 million % inflation when they did away with the zim dollar ages ago, it does not exist... 231 mil% inflation would mean that even the US will be suffering as ZIm has adopted the US dollar... You will be surprised how many people have jobs in zim... I mean even companies like grant thornton are growing so 6% is a figure thought about at a tea party over some rooibos and some milk and cookies. The ease of doing business is directed at the ease of doing business by transnational/multinational companies. For those friends of mine that where there at the end of the year and up until now will tell you that people have jobs... You can not discount the fact that since jobs have been lost people have become enterprising and more entrepenuers have come out and created their own jobs... Like these reports are seriously skewed and written to make other people feel good about themselves... Zim this Zim that. here in SA people should be focusing on the 5.2million Aids patients but no that is swept under the carpet. You will be surprised that the US are secretly dealing in nuclear material at least zim and iran are not hiding it... Wouldnt it be a shock if the US unleashed a nuclear war-head.

      nn.prv - 2011-03-09 13:35

      Zim will hit double digit growth this year.Have been there lately? You are so not informed or is it just you ?

      Rudi Greyvenstein - 2011-03-11 04:56

      Double digit growth from nothing still isn't very much

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-09 09:10

    mugabe is responsible for millions of peoples misery and death. He is nothing more than a skidmark on the underwear of Africa.

  • Debonaire - 2011-03-09 09:20

    If Zimbabwe had oil - US would have sorted this lighty out long ago. Uranium on the other hand is just as good a reason to climb in and sort his (Mugabe's)sorry arse out. GO FOR IT - USA USA USA USA

      Ingwe - 2011-03-09 11:42

      YAWN "If Zimbabwe had oil - US would have sorted this lighty out long ago"

  • Debonaire - 2011-03-09 09:28

    If Zim had oil US would have sorted this lighty out long ago. Selling Uranium to Iran on other hand is a good enough reason to climb in and kick Mugabe's sorry arse. Go fir it - USA USA USA USA

  • Mike@CapeT - 2011-03-09 09:32 we are talking! A very good reason to come down hard on Mugabe.

  • bluejay - 2011-03-09 11:08

    I had to report paul's k-word comment because it's an absolute disgrace that news24 is allowing scum like that to get away with racist statements on a public forum

      OB1 - 2011-03-09 11:19

      fully agree, he is no better than the racists like tsheptheterminator, noxcleva, malema, floyd or mugabe. by using such language he stoops to their level and entrenches the already negative perceptions of whites in SA. He does us no favours and only further fuels the hate and marginalisation of whites.

      omgwtfnews - 2011-03-09 12:30

      I've reported it too. They don't give a damn it seems. Pathetic.

      Other Justin - 2011-03-09 13:51

      Agree, what a chump! Him and Julius should get together, they come from the same mould.

  • ludlowdj - 2011-03-09 11:18

    Hell Mugabe must be shaking in his shoes......oooh big America making new threats, this must really strike fear in the land. All your other sanctions and embargoes to date had such an impact on Zimbabwe already.....NOT. Although I suppose if Zimbabwe had large oil reserves you would have landed troops there long ago. America the land where talk is cheap and promises are seldom kept.

  • ludlowdj - 2011-03-09 11:22

    As for SA supplying yellow-cake to Iran, wouldn't surprise me, you cant put anything past communists and terrorists. Africa was the home of people of this ilk with the population as slave labor long before the white man even realized there was a large land mass here blocking the view

  • Cynical_BStd - 2011-03-09 12:49

    US can warn everyone but no country can warn the US who is the world's largest weapons supplier.

      Ingwe - 2011-03-09 14:43

      Anyone would think you were Cynical

  • Eric - 2011-03-09 13:04


      Roger 01 - 2011-03-10 16:00

      CapsLK !!!!!!!

  • Eric - 2011-03-09 13:12

    To their own Definition of terrorism the US is the largest and most deadly terrorist organization in the world

  • Gurkan - 2011-03-09 13:30

    Let the 3 most hated nations in the World fight. Does not matter who wins or looses. The world will gain any way. And as a bonus, it will discourage new little mugabes...

  • mmoledis - 2011-03-09 13:53

    Zimbabwe as a country should do their own business, but do not have to put lives of other countries and people in danger.If they are involved in such activities,then they are indirectly responsible also for human rights violation in Iran and violating International laws and as such then Zimbabwe must be punished for that.we want a free world free from nuclear.

  • geoffjleach - 2012-09-10 14:10

    Shamawari, may they are still stingy............ Zimbabwe offers compensation to white farmers A FARMER dons a Zanu PF T-Shirt and hoists a banner during a ceremony at which President Mugabe distributed 99-year leases to new black farmers last week • Mugabe issues new farmers 99-year leases • Use it or lose it, Mugabe warns farmers on land • Renson Gasela: Zimbabwe must act now on food situation • Matonga harvests, loots neighbour's farm • AG gives ministers deadline on Kondozi loot • Zimbabwe takes over black-owned farms • Minister returns looted Kondozi pumps • Man to hang for killing white farmer • Mugabe wants white farmers back - Mutasa • Farm workers claim harassment by soldiers • Mutasa tells banks to shun white farmers • 'Stay with us...and constitute a nation based on national unity' By Lebo Nkatazo Last updated: 11/12/2009 14:59:13 THE Zimbabwe government Thursday invited "as a matter of urgency" over 1 000 former white commercial farmers to collect undisclosed amounts of money as compensation for improvements made on their farms before the land reform exercise. JOIN THE DEBATE ON THIS ARTICLE ON THE NEWZIMBABWE.COM FORUMS

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