Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Iran and the Congo's Vanishing Uranium Bars

Global Research Feature Article

URL of this article: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20070311&articleId=5046


by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, March 11, 2007

A mysterious Congo vanishing uranium bars incident has emerged, coinciding with a decisive International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of governors meeting in Vienna on March 5-8, regarding Iran's nuclear program.

According to Kinshasa's Le Phare newspaper (March 7), "more than 100 bars of uranium as well as an unknown quantity of uranium contained in helmet-shaped cases, had disappeared from the nuclear centre in Kinshasa as part of a vast trafficking [operation]" (Le Phare, 8 March 2007, Le Phare, 7 March 2007)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo's Commissioner for atomic energy Professor Fortunat Lumu and his associate were arrested over allegations of uranium smuggling. The Congo's state prosecutor, Tshimanga Mukeba said that Lumu is being "questioned regarding the alleged disappearance of unspecified quantities of uranium in recent years." He is accused of "orchestrating illicit contracts to produce and sell uranium". (BBC, 8 March 2007)

The IAEA is also said to be "investigating the situation". While the names of the alleged buyers were not revealed, the evolving consensus within the Western media, based on an "authoritative" August 2006 Sunday Times report, which is quoted profusely in syndicated press reports, is that Tehran might be behind the uranium smuggling operation.

Iraq, Iran, Niger, The Congo, yellow cake, missing uranium 238 bars.

A feeling of déjà vu.

Remember the Niger uranium yellow cake, which was used as a pretext to wage war on Iraq.

Ironically, while Professor Lumu was arrested on March 6 for alleged smuggling of uranium 238 (natural uranium) in Kinshasa, back in the US, on the same day, former Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was convicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts of perjury and obstruction of justice in relation to the Niger "yellow cake" operation.

According to US media reports, Bush's adviser Karl Rove and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were also involved.

As confirmed in the trial proceedings, the yellow cake story was a fabrication triggered by forged documents which described Saddam Hussein as buying "yellow cake" from Niger allegedly for the production of a nuclear bomb. Libby was acting on the orders of Vice President Dick Cheney, who is widely believed to have instigated the "yellow cake" psyop.

Déjà Vu?

Are we dealing with a similar fabricated Psyop in the case of the alleged missing Congo uranium bars, which could at some later date be used as a pretext directed against Iran?

Last August, at the height of Israel's criminal bombing of Lebanon during which radioactive bunker buster bombs were dropped on civilians, Britain's Sunday Times, citing a UN source dated July 18, 2006, reported that uranium 238 had been smuggled out of the Lubumbashi mines in the Congo. According to Tanzanian customs officials quoted by the Sunday Times, the shipment was "destined for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas". The radioactive shipment had apparently been intercepted in Dar Es Salaam in October of 2005 "during a routine check."

According to the Sunday Times report entitled "Iran's plot to mine uranium in Africa", "there is no doubt" that huge quantities of uranium 238 were smuggled out of the Congo. In the same article, the Sunday Times asserts, without evidence, that Iran supported terror cells in the UK which "may be prepared to mount attacks against nuclear power plants in Britain. Intelligence circulating in Whitehall suggests that sleeper cells linked to Tehran have been conducting reconnaissance at some nuclear sites in preparation for a possible attack." (emphasis added)

The [Tanzanian] customs officer, who spoke to The Sunday Times on condition he was not named, added: "The container [of smuggled uranium bars] was put in a secure part of the port and it was later taken away, by the Americans, I think, or at least with their help. We have all been told not to talk to anyone about this."

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