News / Africa

Iran Courts Ugandan Vote Against Sanctions

TEXT SIZE - +
Michael Onyiego

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in Uganda Friday following a visit to Zimbabwe earlier this week. The Iranian president is expected to meet with his counterpart, Yoweri Museveni to discuss Iran's nuclear program as well as investment in Uganda's oilfields.

Just one day after United States Vice President Joe Biden announced that China and the U.S. agreed on future sanctions for Iran, President Ahmadinejad landed in Uganda to lobby support for his country's nuclear development.

The U.N. Security Council requires 9 out of its 15 members to approve of sanctions, but any of its five permanent members has the ability to veto the resolution.

Iran maintains that its nuclear development is for peaceful purposes and Uganda, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, is a potential ally which President Ahmadinejad hopes to court.

Uganda has been increasing its ties to Iran over the past few years. After a state visit to Iran last year, President Museveni announced that Iran had agreed to assist Uganda in the construction of an oil refinery. Iran also agreed to help train Ugandans at the country's University of Petroleum Studies.

Despite its vote in the Security Council, Uganda relies heavily on western aid to fund its economic development and a lecturer at the University of Nairobi's School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Gerrishon Ikiara, says Uganda cannot risk damaging its international image.

"Uganda is very dependent on aid from western countries, and that would spoil its image quite a bit. Iran would be asking for too much from Uganda in that case," he said. "Because as a member it has to weigh the overall sentiment from other members. And, in terms of respecting Obama's position, I don't think Uganda would be willing to support Iran on the issue."

But investment in oil has the potential to sway the east African nation. Iranian investment in Uganda's newly discovered oil fields will be a critical topic of discussion for the two leaders.

A deposit containing 700 million barrels of oil was recently discovered in eastern Uganda, and developers believe that the country could hold nearly 1.5 billion more. President Museveni has expressed the desire to process Uganda's oil locally, and has been searching for foreign partners to provide the country with technical expertise.

Uganda expects the oil revenue to help fund an ambitious $26 billion development plan, which it unveiled earlier this year, and it has invited major energy firms to explore the Lake Albert region, where the first deposits were found.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid