Foreign Affairs Minister Abul-Gheit calls Iran’s Nuclear Program “Worrisome”

April 22, 2006

Weapon Program: 

  • Nuclear

Related Country: 

  • Egypt

Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul-Gheit said Friday that the Iranian nuclear programme is worrisome not only for the region but the international community.

Egypt has been always pressing for rendering the Middle East free from weapons of mass destruction, he told Egyptian reporters.

He recalled that Egypt and Iran adopted an initiative in 1974 and raised it to the UN General Assembly to issue a resolution on nuclear non-proliferation.

"We are still after this goal," the top Egyptian diplomat said.

He said Egypt wants all Mideast countries join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), including Israel.

"That's why Egypt rejects to see a nuclear power in this region of the world," he added.

Abul-Gheit, however, said NPT signatories have every right to pursue "peaceful" nuclear programmes.

"We only object to the non-peaceful use of atomic power," he noted.

Abul-Gheit further said that Egypt firmly believes that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the finaly say over the Iranian nuclear programme.

"The IAEA is the yardstick when it comes to the Iranian nuclear programme," he stressed.

Abul-Gheit received Friday a phone call from his Iranian counterpart Manuchehr Motaki, discussing a report to be submitted by IAEA Chief Mohamed El-Baradei to the UN Security Council next week on Iran's nuclear dossier.

They also dealt with Tehran's negotiation with the European Troika and Russia's active role in the Iranian stand off.

Tehran is keen on continuing political dialogue, Motaki said, noting, however, that his country would not give up its peaceful nuclear programme.