x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Cairo warns Iran over nuclear ambiguity

Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, warned Tehran yesterday athat t was endangering the stability of the region over its nuclear programme.

MANAMA // Egypt's foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, warned Tehran yesterday against continued ambiguity surrounding its nuclear programme as it risks losing the trust of the international community and endangers the stability of the region. "Iran is a co-signer of the [Nuclear] Non-Proliferation treaty and has the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, but we tell Tehran from the Gulf that they need to be cautious about not losing the international community's confidence through its actions," Mr Aboul Gheit said during a joint press conference with the Bahraini foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa, in Manama.

He said the building of secret nuclear installations contradicts Iran's commitments under the treaty's terms. "When there are suggestions that the programme could be of a military nature we find that to be deeply concerning because the Middle East will fail in its endeavor to be a nuclear and weapons of mass destruction free-zone," he said. "Also concerning for us is that the Middle East would find itself under two nuclear umbrellas - one in Iran and another in Israel."

Mr Aboul Gheit, who said there was no such thing as an "Islamic" nuclear bomb, pointed out that the possibility of an attack either by the West or Israel against Iranian nuclear installations could drag the region into violence. Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al Khalifa said Manama hoped to see the issue "resolved through diplomacy." foreign.desk@thenational.ae