[QODLink]
Middle East

GCC calls for Iran nuclear plant inspection

Gulf Co-operation Council raises concerns of possible radiation leaks after earthquake near Bushehr nuclear plant.

Last Modified: 14 Apr 2013 15:40
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

The Gulf Co-operation Council has called for international inspectors to be sent to Iran's Bushehr nuclear plant over concerns of possible radiation leaks after an earthquake hit the area.

The body demanded the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "send a specialised technical team to inspect the Bushehr nuclear plant and investigate potential damage", GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani told an emergency meeting of top Gulf officials on Sunday.

A 6.1 magnitude quake hit Iran on Tuesday at a depth of 12km, in the area of Kaki, according to the Iranian Seismological Centre.

Zayani said the earthquake would "sound alarm bells over the safety of a nuclear plant situated in an area with high seismic activity", urging Iran to commit to international safety standards.

He warned officials at the meeting in Riyadh of the "deep concern among GCC states and the international community about the potential risk that any damage to Iran's nuclear plant could cause radiation leaks".

GCC states had already "warned that radiation leaks from Bushehr plant could have damaging effects on the natural environment in the Gulf region", he said.

Not operational

The quake killed 37 people and injured 850 others, Iranian authorities said, and was felt in nearby Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran said it informed the IAEA there had been no damage to the nuclear power plant, nearly 90km northwest of the earthquake's epicentre.

Iran's atomic chief Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said that the power plant was not operational when the quake struck as it was "under maintenance", Iranian media reported.

The Bushehr plant has yet to become fully operational, as its construction has suffered a number of delays and setbacks.

Iran's nuclear drive has put it at loggerheads with the West and Israel, who suspect the country of developing atomic weapons. Tehran has repeatedly denied the claims and insists its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes only.

317

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
NSA whistleblower Snowden and journalist Greenwald accuse Wellington of mass spying on New Zealanders.
Whatever the referendum's outcome, energy created by the grassroots independence campaign has changed Scottish politics.
Traders and farmers struggle to cope as restrictions on travel prevent them from doing business and attending to crops.
Unique mobile messaging service, mMitra, helps poor pregnant women in Mumbai fight against maternal mortality.
Influential independence figure has been key in promoting Scottish nationalism, but will his efforts succeed?
join our mailing list