GCC members ponder nuclear project

Gulf Arab states have announced that they are considering a shared nuclear programme for peaceful purposes.

GCC members ponder nuclear project

"Leaders commissioned a study by members of the Gulf Co-operation Council to set up a common programme in the area of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, according to international standards," read a GCC statement.


The statement read out on Sunday in Riyadh by Abdul Rahman al-Attiyah, the secretary-general of the political and economic alliance, did not elaborate on the plan by the GCC, which is comprised of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.


"We hope that our statements [on the study] will not be misunderstood," Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, said after the announcement.


"This is not a secret and we are doing this out in the open. Our aim is to obtain the technology for peaceful purposes, no more no less."


Standoff with West


Gulf countries have expressed worry over neighbouring Iran's disputed nuclear programme that has lead to a standoff with the West over Tehran's refusal to suspend uranium enrichment.


The US and some allies allege Tehran is secretly developing nuclear weapons and are pressing for sanctions against the Shia Muslim country.


Iran, however, insists its programme is for peaceful purposes, and its Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, has repeatedly vowed to press on with enrichment.


Iran's first reactor in Bushehr is projected to go on line in late 2007.


Security focus


Officials in the Sunni-led Gulf nations have previously focused on safety issues involving the programme, but they also are concerned about a possible military clash between the US and its ally Israel on the one hand and Tehran on the other. 


Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, the Gulf countries with US military bases, fear Iran could retaliate against them.


On Sunday, Gulf leaders reiterated their position that the standoff with Iran should be "resolved peacefully".

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16