Iraq to seek US nuclear technology: reportNovember 23rd, 2009 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS
Baghdad, Nov 23 (DPA) Iraq, reportedly home to the world’s third-largest oil reserves, will seek peaceful nuclear technology from the US, an Iraqi lawmaker said in remarks published Monday.
“The government seeks to produce and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes… and to activate the scientific strategic framework agreement with the US,” Iraqi lawmaker Shahid al-Jabri told Baghdad’s daily al-Sabbah newspaper.
“The country is moving toward using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes (like) generating electricity, especially considering that most countries in the region and in the developed world are now moving in this direction,” he said.
Many Iraqis do not have reliable access to electricity and rely on home or neighbourhood generators for power during cuts.
The US Department of Energy reports that Iraq sits atop the world’s third-largest oil reserves. It currently produces roughly 2.5 million barrels of oil a day, but hopes to raise that figure to seven million barrels within six years.
The Iraqi government hopes to use the proceeds from increased oil exports to improve services for Iraqis and to usher in a new era of economic prosperity.
Fellow US-ally Egypt, in June, inked a contract with the Australian firm Worley Parsons to build a nuclear power plant on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, after Egypt backed out of a deal with the US firm Bechtel.
“The strategic framework agreement between Baghdad and Washington includes a mission to promote scientific cooperation between the two, countries, particularly as the United States is one of the most scientifically advanced countries in many areas,” al-Jabri said.
The announcement came as talks between Iraq’s neighbour, Iran, and six world powers over that country’s nuclear programme faltered and Iran launched war games simulating an attack on its nuclear installations over the weekend.
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