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Russia facilitates Iran-Niger uranium talks

1 min

Recent reports from the French daily, Le Monde, reveal that Iran is eyeing uranium from Niger, with the Kremlin playing a pivotal role in fostering relations between the two countries. This development has garnered close attention from Western powers, particularly the United States and France.

Since the military coup in July 2023, Niger's junta has been engaged in "confidential negotiations" with Iran © Mena Today 

Recent reports from the French daily, Le Monde, reveal that Iran is eyeing uranium from Niger, with the Kremlin playing a pivotal role in fostering relations between the two countries. This development has garnered close attention from Western powers, particularly the United States and France.

Since the military coup in July 2023, Niger's junta has been engaged in "confidential negotiations" with Iran concerning the delivery of 300 tonnes of yellowcake, a concentrated form of uranium.

These discussions, valued at approximately $56 million (€52 million), were initially uncovered by U.S. intelligence agencies in early 2024.

The matter was subsequently brought to public attention by the Nigerien junta itself on April 16, during a national television broadcast where military officials refuted what they called "false allegations" from Washington that suggested a secret uranium deal with Iran.

Further complicating the geopolitical landscape, Western official sources claim that Russia has played a crucial role in the uranium negotiations.

Under its new designation, ‘Africa Corps’, formerly known as Wagner, Moscow has dispatched mercenaries to Niger.

These moves underscore the close relations between Moscow and Tehran, signaling a potential shift in regional power dynamics in West Africa.

Iran's ambitions do not stop at Niger. The Islamic Republic has also made overtures towards Burkina Faso, another West African country currently governed by a junta that is openly hostile to Western interests. These developments are creating a hotspot of threats in West Africa, as Iran seeks to expand its influence in the region.

The situation unfolding in West Africa, with Iran's growing interest in uranium and Russia’s involvement, poses significant challenges for Western foreign policy in the region.

By Sarah Niedweis 

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