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Posted On: 15 April 2013 02:30 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:12 pm

GCC perceives Iran’s nuclear capability as a danger to the region

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National emergency officials in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries met yesterday in Saudi Arabia to discuss the risk of radiation spreading over the Gulf if Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant is damaged by another earthquake. A 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck close to Iran’s only nuclear power station last week, killing dozens of people but leaving the nearby plant undamaged, according to Iranian officials and the Russian company that built it. There is no indication of any radiation leak following last week’s tremor and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation said the plant was built to withstand much bigger quakes. But the plant on earthquake-prone Iran’s southern coast is a growing worry for its neighbours, because the prevailing winds of the Gulf mean that if radiation ever does escape it would probably be blown over the Qatari capital Doha and the main oil exporting ports of the United Arab Emirates. GCC Secretary-General, Abdulatif Al Zayani, said that Gulf Arab states must have a joint plan to collectively deal with any possible leak from the Iranian facility. “The earthquake that the Iranian city of Bushehr was subject to has raised a great deal of concern among GCC countries and the international community of a possible damage to the Bushehr nuclear reactor that could cause a radioactive leak, God forbid,” Zayani said at the start of the meeting in Riyadh. “The GCC countries have previously warned against the danger of the nuclear reactor of Bushehr and the possible nuclear leak and its harmful effect on the environment in the Gulf,” he added. Zayani said that the six Gulf states have previously urged Tehran to ensure its facility complies with international safety standards and join the Convention on Nuclear Safety, but Tehran did not show any sign it understood international concerns over its nuclear programme. Iran is the only country operating a nuclear power plant that does not belong to the convention. Source : Qatar Chronicle