Iran’s Uranium Diplomacy in Africa

nuclear africa2

Update from October 25th: It seems that Salehi’s investments are paying off in Ghana as well – Iran is ready to “share its experience in mineral exploration” with Ghana. It’s worthy to note that the article by pressTV mentions gold, diamonds, bauxite and manganese but fails to mention uranium that Ghana has been mining uranium since 2010.

It’s customary to regard a country’s foreign minister as its top diplomat. He’s the one who’s supposed to lead efforts to promote international standing, create trade opportunities, advance cultural ties. But since Iran views the role of its diplomacy differently than the rest, same goes for the role of its foreign minister.

Led by Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, over the past six months Iran’s diplomats have been racking up thousands of air miles over the skies of African countries, including: Mali, Central Africa, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Cameroon, Sudan, Namibia, Sudan, Comoros, Ghana, Benin, Ethiopia, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Senegal.

Quite a list. What have those diplomats been searching for?

We’ve already expanded on the involvement of Iranian diplomacy in Tehran’s subversion activities in Africa. It is also clear that Iranian diplomacy plays a supporting role in Tehran’s ongoing efforts to bolster its strategic capabilities  from African soil. But to fully understand the issue, we need to go back to the beginning of Salehi’s stint as foreign minister in early 2011 (after he made the move from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran).

His first trip abroad at that time was to Zimbabwe, of all places. Why Zimbabwe? This AP report  provides the answer: “uranium procurement.”

It is therefore no surprise that Salehi recently paid another visit to Harare. It is also not surprising that Iran recently opened an embassy in Namibia, where it already has a “15% stake in Rössing Uranium, the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine and the third largest producer of uranium oxide globally.”

Salehi himself did not mince words during his visit there: “Namibia, an important country in Africa, is the continent’s fourth exporter of mineral resources while Iran has invested in that country’s mining sector.”

For those who missed it: “mineral resources” is the code word for “uranium.” That’s Salehi, Iran’s top diplomat.


18 thoughts on “Iran’s Uranium Diplomacy in Africa

  1. You do very good writing and analysis but I have to say, as a journalist, it becomes hard to trust information when one has no clue who the writer is OR at least what the nature of the blogger’s views are. I respect privacy but if you would be kind enough to give, at the very least a small explanation of what your aim is with this blog, it would sit well with some of us who like the writing and would like to promote the blog.

    • Hi Banafsheh,
      I appreciate your input.
      I am not a journalist and i have no intention of exposing myself…if you had read some of the comments that i have received, you would understand.
      in order to promote a fair appraisal of my blog, i post comments that are sometimes commpletely opposed to my views.
      feel free to promote my blog in any case.

  2. Oh and I should specify that I did look through your about section and wanting terrorism gone, etc. etc. is all good and well, but it gets pretty murky, when there’s no real background on who, why, where, when, how….


    • just received another hate comment wishing i would burn in “ten thousands hells” – would rather remain “murky” than be exposed to haters.
      BTW, are you related to Banafsheh Zand, the writer and activist or is it just a coincidence? or perhaps you are also “murky”?

  3. Iran is a growing world power that wants to grow her influence in this part of the world period! it’s not a new or strange thing. The western imperialists influence is in everywhere in Africa, every sector of african economies. Why this noise about Iran? This is a bias article and i can see the fingerprint of NATO/ZIONIST lobby in this article.

    • hi sunday,
      my article reflects my own views which are, like yours, naturally biased. you are entitled to opinion (including “the nato/zionist fingerprint”) as i am mine.
      talk of empirialism reflects a discussion from the past and not the present or the future. Iran – iran, on the other hand, is under sanctions for its suspect nuclear program and for its rants against “the arrogant powers”.
      you may not be worried by iran – i am.

      • Yes, you can continue to remain worried with Iran “suspicious nuclear programme since you don’t have conscious to understand the wicket antics of the western imperialists. Was it not the imperialists that invaded Irag on the falsehood that it has nuclear weapon? What is America doing in Afganitan other than false claim on Taliban. Is it not parochial to think and said ” imperialism reflects a discussion from the past and not the present or the future”. You can continue to insensitive to what affect others since you don’t reason in the same direction. Useless.

  4. I see, zionist write-up. Tell us why is america drone doing on African soil. Iran want to buy someting from us. The drone is kept there in Niger republic ready to kill Africans. Tell us who were the people who created Lybia problems? Is it france and her NATO or Iran? Tell us roots of boko haram in nigeria? Is it iran? Tell us who dont what to see peaceful congo republic? Is it iran? They are creating problems there because of it mineral resources. Love these people, but i grows to see it in them they hates us why? Only them to control the world and it resources hmmmm.

    • does this have ANYTHING to do with the fact that iran is trying to circumvent UN sanctions for its suspicious nuclear program from countries in africa?
      why does a discussion on this issues lead to problems in Lybia, Nigeria etc…?

  5. Are we saying Iran is evil; if it were advanced countries that have superimposed themselves as policemen of the world that have been amassing uranium, our friends will not bat an eye lid ,I earnestly look up to the time when African countries will be stable, rich and knowledgeable enough to start our own programs; no region or state should be left behind in the super power global village .God imbues everybody to acquire knowledge, deploys it and propagate it for the benefit of humanity.

    • Iran is NOT evil. I don’t think this is a question of black or white. There are, I believe, people in the Iranian regime who are searching to empower themselves at the expense of the welfare of Iranians and citizens of other nations. Rouhani was elected as president partly because the Iranian regime totally screwed up the handling of the nuclear crisis.

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