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France Condemns Israel for Raid on Iraqi Nuclear Site, Demands It Pay Reparations

June 16, 1981
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

France, which built the Iraqi nuclear reactor that Israel destroyed in an air attack on June 7, called in the Security Council today for Israel’s condemnation and demanded that Israel pay reparations for the destruction of the Iraqi plant.

The French condemnation came at this morning’s meeting of the Security Council which has been debating the Israeli raid since last Friday. French Ambassador Jacques Leprette said that his government rejected the Israeli government’s charges that the blasted Iraqi nuclear reactor was designed to produce atomic bombs. The reactor, the French envoy said, had the purpose of scientific research. He claimed that the accord between France and Iraq excluded all exploitation, even indirect, for military purposes.

Charging that the Israeli attack was “a violation of international law” and therefore condemnable, Leprette said that any resolution adopted by the Council should include: a firm condemnation of Israel; a solemn appeal to Israel to end such military action; a demand that Israel pay “equitable reparation” for the destruction and damage caused by the Israeli attack.


The French envoy also said that Israel’s attack seriously damaged the principles of peaceful nuclear cooperation among states within an international non-proliferation system. The Israeli attack, Leprette charged, violated basic provisions of the U. N. Charter including the right of each state to respect the sovereignty and independence of other states.

Declaring that France had affirmed its attachment to the security of Israel, the French Ambassador claimed however that recourse to force could not settle, in the long term the security of Israel. “There must be a just and negotiated settlement to the conflict in the Middle East,” he said.


The Israeli raid on Iraq’s nuclear reactor was also condemned in the Security Council today by the representatives of China, the United Kingdom and Japan. Sir Anthony Parsonn, British Ambassador to the United Nations, declared that his country condemns the Israeli attack “without equivocation.” He charged that it represented “a grave breach of international law” and said Britain did not believe that Iraq had the capacity to manufacture fissionable material for nuclear weapons. Parsonn said his country would support the draft resolution suggested by France.

The representative of China, Mi Guojun, sharply denounced the Israeli attack and called it “a deliberate premeditated act of naked aggression against a sovereign Arab State.” He charged that Israel’s policy of aggression was supported by the superpowers because it created conditions “for further intervention in the Middle East, thus aggrevating the tension there and threatening the peace and security of the entire world.”

Masshiro Nisieori of Japan said Israel has the right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries but “by violating the boundaries of other countries in such an arrogant manner, Israel has undermined its own credibility in the international community.”

Today’s meeting of the Security Council was the third since the opening of the debate on the Israeli raid Friday. Israel addressed the opening session claiming that the attack on Iraq’s nuclear reactor was an act of self-defense. Ambassador Yehuda Blum, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N. is expected to speak again, using his right of reply.

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