Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Zimbabwe police seek journalists over Iran uranium story: report

Zimbabwean police yesterday were looking for two journalists from the British newspaper The Times over a story about a secret uranium export deal between Zimbabwe and Iran.

HARARE // Zimbabwean police yesterday were looking for two journalists from the British newspaper The Times over a story about a secret uranium export deal between Zimbabwe and Iran.

Jan Raath and Jerome Starkey are wanted for "spreading falsehoods" after the uranium deal story was published in the London paper on Saturday, Zimbabwe's Sunday Mail reported.

The Times quoting outgoing deputy minister of mines Gift Chimanikire wrote that Zimbabwe signed a deal with Iran to supply the Islamic Republic with the raw materials needed to develop a nuclear weapon.

The United States and the European Union have imposed crippling sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme, which Tehran insists is for peaceful energy uses but which the Western powers fear is intended to build an atom bomb.

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

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

During a visit to Harare in 2010 by then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Mr Mugabe said his guest should be assured of "Zimbabwe's continuous support of Iran's just cause on the nuclear issue".

Mr Chimanikire could not be reached for comment but The Sunday Mail quoted him denying the story as "silly, speculative and dangerous".

"No licence has been issued. I never said such a silly thing," the paper quoted Mr Chimanikire as saying.

The Times newspaper said it was not aware of the story in the Zimbabwean press and would prepare a response.

But one of the two reporters, Starkey, tweeted about the report of the "manhunt" by Zimbabwean police. When asked if he planned to add the event to his CV, he tweeted: "Let's wait and see that it ends OK."

National police spokeswoman Charity Charamba claimed not to know about the search for the journalists.

"I have not heard about it. I only got a call from someone else who was inquiring," she said.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National