Iraqi lawmakers demand reparations for 1981 Israeli attack

February 12th, 2009 - 8:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Feb 12 (DPA) Iraqi parliamentarians are demanding Israel pay billions of dollars in reparations for a 1981 attack on a nuclear reactor in the country, a media report said Thursday.
Mohammed Naji Mohammed, a member of parliament with the United Iraqi Alliance coalition, is leading a campaign for a parliamentary resolution obliging the Iraqi foreign ministry and courts to seek billions of dollars in reparations for an Israeli air strike on the Osiraq nuclear reactor, the al-Sabbah newspaper reported.

The organisers reportedly said they will argue their case based on a UN Security Council resolution passed in the wake of the attack.

UN Security Council Resolution 487 “strongly condemns” Israel’s air strike 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.

The Security Council, however, noted at that time 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.

The Iraqi lawmakers now pushing for reparations were reportedly careful to stress that they were concerned with Iraq’s development, and that the campaign did not imply an endorsement of the former Iraqi regime.

Mohammed reportedly said that if foreign governments could hold Iraq responsible for reparations for acts committed by Saddam Hussein’s regime, then Iraq could hold foreign governments responsible for reparations for acts committed against Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power.

While the parliament has not yet taken any decision to act on the campaign, Mohammed’s affiliation with the United Iraqi Alliance, a coalition of mostly of Shia parties that won the greatest share of seats in Iraq’s 2005 parliamentary elections, may smooth its passage through the legislative assembly.

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