Gaddafi: Give Palestinians nuclear weapons

By Jessica Elgot, October 26, 2009

The president of Libya Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has argued that the Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians and Saudi should be allowed nuclear weapons to defend themselves from Israel.

Col. Gaddafi told Sky News that if the Arab countries are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, then Israel should be similarly banned. Israel has never confirmed the existence of a nuclear arsenal.

He said: "Even the Palestinians should have nuclear weapons because their counterparts, or their opponents, have nuclear capabilities."

But he was adamant that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a disaster for the Middle East.

He said: "Iran, up to now, hasn't said it is manufacturing a nuclear weapon. Iran says it is enriching uranium.”

“But if Iran were to manufacture nuclear weapons, nuclear arms, then all of us, including Libya will be against them. But Iran has not said so."

Col Gaddafi’s remarks came as world leaders waited for the Iranian government to endorse a deal to export enriched uranium. Iran had said it would approve the deal by Friday, but has failed to give an answer by the October 23 deadline.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak expressed his concerns over the deal, even if it is accepted by the Iranians.

He said: "This deal, if it is signed, will take Iran's nuclear program back a year, but it will also result in the legitimisation of its uranium enrichment for civilian purposes. The uranium enrichment by Iran must be stopped altogether.”

Last updated: 2:33pm, October 27 2009