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GCC wants diplomacy on Iran case

12 May 2010 6:11

Amid western calls for sanctions against Iran, six permanent members of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) call for resolving Tehran’s nuclear issue through dialogue.

During a consultative meeting of the bloc held in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Tuesday, GCC member states also called for the removal of nuclear weapons from the Middle East region, IRNA reported on Wednesday.

The GCC members went on to voice support for all regional countries to acquire peaceful nuclear technology within a legal framework and under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

The United States and its European allies accuse Iran of pursuing a military nuclear program and have been pushing for the imposition of new and tougher UN Security Council sanctions against Iran.

Iran has repeatedly rejected the accusations, saying any punitive measure against its nuclear work would be without legal grounds as the country’s nuclear program is being fully monitored by the IAEA.

In the meeting, the GCC member states also discussed recent threats made by Israel – the sole acquirer of nuclear war heads in the Middle East — against Palestinians and Syrians, saying such threats were the main cause of insecurity and instability in the Middle East.

GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman al-Attiya called for concerted efforts by regional states, saying “The aim is to fortify the security and stability of the region and to face challenges through joint vision.”

Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are six permanent members of the GCC.

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