Khadafy backs nuclear power for Iran

Khadafy said stopping Iran would be 'unjust.' Khadafy said stopping Iran would be "unjust."
Associated Press / July 16, 2009
  • Email|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

SHARM EL-SHEIK, Egypt - Iran should be allowed to pursue a peaceful nuclear energy program, Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy said yesterday at the Non-Aligned Movement’s summit.

He said the UN’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, should be the judge of whether Iran is seeking to acquire nuclear weapons through its uranium enrichment program, as the United States and Israel claim. Iran insists its aim is solely to generate power, but it has blocked the IAEA’s attempts to investigate.

The UN Security Council has levied financial sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium. Khadhafy said it is unjust to stop Iran from enriching uranium for peaceful purposes.

“The road that should be closed is the one turning enriched uranium into a nuclear weapon. But to close both roads? What is this? This is unjust. This is ignorance and a denial of science,’’ he said.

He called the Security Council a danger to developing nations, because it is “under the control of . . . one of the powers,’’ an apparent allusion to the United States, which with Russia, France, Britain, and China has veto power. He vowed to seek a permanent seat with veto power for Africa.

Khadhafy said Libya was on the verge of producing a nuclear bomb but decided to end the effort in 2003 because it had no enemies to use it against. The expensive program endangered Libya’s security, he said. He provided no details, but it was Khadhafy’s first public comment about the point at which Libya ended its pursuit of a bomb.