Iran, Niger seal $56-M deal on uranium supply—report

Iran, Niger seal $56-M deal on uranium supply—report

NIGER pursued a multimillion-dollar deal with Iran a few months after the West African nation severed military ties with the United States.

French-based media outlets claimed the deal was signed following months of secret meetings between Iranian officials and Niger’s military junta.

The $56 million contract will allow Tehran to acquire 300 tons of refined uranium from the West African nation in exchange for drones and surface-to-air missiles.

The concentrated form of uranium oxide, also known as Yellow Cake, is produced from uranium ore and serves as a critical ingredient in making nuclear fuel or weapons.

The United States is one of the major financial sponsors in Niger’s thriving uranium industry.

Niger’s deepening military ties with Russia and Iran sparked threats from Washington. The U.S. also warned of sanctions following a uranium deal between the African nation and the Islamic State.

Iran, which has also been under crippling U.S. sanctions since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, assured to help Niger overcome sanction threats from Washington.

Rafael Grossi, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, visited Iran last month to revive talks on cooperation in monitoring Iran’s nuclear activities. The IAEA chief admitted the negotiations in reviving such a sensitive issue is not an easy task. The United Nations nuclear watchdog released its latest report last week in which it revealed a sixty percent increase in Iran’s uranium stockpile in the past four months.

The World Nuclear Association (WNA) ranked Niger as the world’s seventh-biggest producer of uranium, as of 2023.

The nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers remains hanging in the balance after former U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned the agreement in 2018.

 

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