Iran Nuclear NewsWikiLeaks: Sale of uranium mine blocked over Iran fears

WikiLeaks: Sale of uranium mine blocked over Iran fears

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Daily Telegraph: The US intervened in the £371 million sale of a Canadian-owned mine in Africa because of fears that uranium ore would be sold to Iran, the leaked cables show.

The Daily Telegraph

Iranian technicians with 'yellow cake' uranium. The US feared the uranium ore from the Namibian mine would be sold to Iran Photo: REUTERSThe US intervened in the £371 million sale of a Canadian-owned mine in Africa because of fears that uranium ore would be sold to Iran, the leaked cables show.

By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter

Forsys Metals was said to be in the “final stages” of selling the Valencia mine in Namibia to George Forrest International (GFI), a Belgian-based company, when Canadian ministers stepped in to block the deal in 2009.

Until now, it was thought the takeover had collapsed purely because GFI could not raise enough money to finance it, but secret communiqués between Washington and Ottawa disclose grave concerns that GFI might sell uranium to Iran if it obtained the mine.

In a cable from August 2009, the US State Department asked its embassy in Ottawa to raise “serious concerns” about the sale.

In a statement, GFI said it “does not have, and has never had, commercial relations of any kind with Iran”. It added: “GFI has never wished or intended to contravene any UN prohibition.”

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