Iraq on Saturday asked the international community for assistance in building a nuclear power reactor for peaceful purposes.
"Iraq calls for assistance from our kindred nuclear countries to build a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes ... in accordance with the non-proliferation treaty," Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafar told the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Al-Jaafari cited the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's provisions allowing countries to pursue peaceful nuclear energy projects, AP reported. Iraq ratified the treaty in 1969.
Non-nuclear nations that signed it agreed to not pursue atomic weapons. In exchange, the five original nuclear powers – the US, Russia, Britain, France and China – promised to move toward nuclear disarmament and to guarantee non-nuclear states access to peaceful nuclear technology for producing power.
Iraq's previous efforts to build a nuclear reactor were met with an Israeli airstrike on the Osirak nuclear facility in 1981 and years of suspicion about his nuclear intentions.