Iraq to pursue compensation for 1981 Israeli airstrike

Iraq to pursue compensation for 1981 Israeli airstrike

The Iraqi government continues to seek redress for an Israeli airstrike against a 1981 Israeli airstrike against an Iraqi nuclear reactor, an Iraqi lawmaker said in remarks published Tuesday, DPA reported.

"Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs petitioned the United Nations and the UN Security Council to demand that Israel pay compensation ... for the 1981 bombing an (Iraqi) nuclear reactor," Mohammed Naji Mohammed, a member of parliament with the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, told the al-Sabah newspaper.

Mohammed said the cabinet had on November 25 approved a plan to seek redress through diplomatic channels, and to form a "neutral" committee to assess the value of the reparations it would seek.

The lawmaker is leading a campaign to seek billions of dollars in reparations for an Israeli airstrike on the Osiraq nuclear reactor, based, he said, on UN Security Council Resolution 487.

The resolution, passed in the wake of the attack, "strongly condemns" Israel's airstrike against Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in June 1981, and "considers that Iraq is entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it has suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel."

Israeli officials at the time said they were concerned that the reactor could eventually be used to produce nuclear weapons for the regime led at the time by Saddam Hussein.

The Security Council, however, noted at the time that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had testified that its safeguards had been "satisfactorily applied" in Iraq.

Rather, the Security Council said, the Osiraq attack constituted "a serious threat to the entire safeguards regime" of the IAEA.

Subsequent UN Security Council resolutions "deplored" Iraq's noncompliance with the IAEA inspections regime, which the Security Council in 2002 called a "threat ... to international peace and security."

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