UAE concerned about Iran's nuclear programme

Published: Friday 30 June 2006

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has voiced concern over the environmental impact of Iran's nuclear programme. UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan raised the issue in Abu Dhabi at a joint news conference with German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who echoed Western fears regarding Iran's nuclear programme.

Unlike Iran, Arab states rely on seawater for drinking since the Arabian peninsula has no rivers and limited groundwater. "If the Gulf is polluted from their nuclear programme it will affect the life of people in this region," said Abdullah.

Abdullah said a delegation of the Gulf Cooperation Council -- a political and economic alliance comprising Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE -- would visit Teheran shortly to discuss the issue.

UAE vice-president Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said the nuclear programme "poses a threat to our environment, and thus our concern is legitimate, but we call for resolving it peacefully." UAE's news daily Al-Ittihad wrote: "Iran is thinking only of itself, and is not respecting the legitimate concerns of its Gulf neighbours."

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