Iran

The President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is making a final visit to Africa as his tenure comes to a close with the Iranian presidential election on the schedule for June 2013. Iran has cultivated close ties with developing nations around the world, and one of the countries that Ahmadinejad will be visiting, Niger, has large uranium deposits that could help to replenish depleted Iranian stocks. Iran continues to deflect international pressure aimed at its disputed nuclear program, while diplomats reported this week that the country has increased the number of advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges installed at its underground nuclear facility in Natanz. Iran also showed off new military technology days before its National Army Day on April 18, launching a new land-to-sea missile in the Persian Gulf. (April 15, 2013 Africa Review; April 15, 2013 BBC; April 16, 2013 Reuters)